17 October 2012

Conakry, Guinea

Makone Soumaoro, 30, goiter. “I don’t have pain, but I am worried that my neck swells that much. I hope it it is not a tumor because I am a housewife and my man and three children need me.”

Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than one dollar per day. Three quarters of the population is illiterate. Health care is substandard and unaffordable for most people. Some get help with their health problems from NGO Mercy Ships aboard the hospital ship ‘African Mercy’ docked in the capital Conakry. They are treated by volunteer surgeons, doctors and nurses with such health issues as cataracts, teeth problems, and skin diseases to more complex orthopedic or tumor surgeries. (from world press photos- link)

Stephan Vanfleteren of Belgium, a Panos photographer working for Mercy Ships/De Standaard,  won the first prize in the People – Staged Portraits Stories category of the World Press Photo Contest 2013 with the series ‘People of Mercy, Guinea’. The picture shows Makone Soumaoro, 30, who has a goiter. (Reuters) link

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