Photograph: Enric Vives-Rubio
In the heartland of the southern province of Alentejo, women in small villages are being invited by the health authorities to come for a Pap smear test. Many of these older women are too afraid to attend. They have not have had a gynaecological exam for decades, ever since they have had their children in the hospital. It’s up to the health centre receptionist, who everyone in the village knows, to persuade them that it’s harmless.
Joaquina Ganhão is also doing her part. She was also afraid to be seen by a male doctor, but she had her test just in time and her cervical cancer was diagnosed in the early stages. Thanks to this woman many women in the village of Mora were persuaded to lose their fear.