Fattouma: working in the rural sector has no age. All women work: it is rooted in their culture, in their need to exist, Fattouma, a young farmer, married at the age of 17. She worked on her husband’s family farm, never had a vacation. Every day, she wakes up at 4 am, summer and winter. Whether harvesting vegetables or grinding wheat manually. Fattouma works in the fields with a goal in mind, provides enough food for her family and pays the school fees for her children. In her work, she felt free and autonomous. One day Fattouma felt too tired, she was suffering, unable to go about her usual tasks. She ignores her pain and said to herself: it’s just a little pain, it will pass.
She couldn’t go to the hospital because she didn’t have her “white book” that made her eligible for government social services. She had the choice between excessively expensive private clinics or going to a public dispensary to be examined by a doctor during the days of weekly visits… Imagine a dispensary with a doctor who travels once a week and dozens of men and women agglutinated in front, fight not to return the following week.
Fattouma tried to cure herself with traditional herbal medicines she knew, but to no avail. The pain is still there. Finally, his family forced him to see a doctor. The cancer; he said, had gnawed at it for many years. Despite the surgery, the drugs and the chemotherapy, Fattouma, my mother, left this world. She left forever, because during all these years she was in pain, but she preferred to spend the money than she did to pay for her children’s education, to allow us to live with dignity and have a better future.
I know several other women who have lived the same story, Mariem, Aicha, Hamida, all of them lived in the situation of Fattouma. Ahmini can help them, Ahmini can be a revolution in health in rural areas. I dedicated Ahmini to Fattouma, a tribute to my dear mother and to all the rural women, who for me are all Fattouma.