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Melissa Freeman: breaking barriers in Harlem

By Colm Flynn

Despite her age, at 92 years of age, Dr. Melissa Freeman is still running her own private practice in the dynamic neighbourhood of Harlem in New York City.

She can be found there some night's working until 1am.

Other days she's in lowertown Manhattan running a methadone clinic.

In fact, she is long-considered a pioneer in that field after being the first doctor to treat female heroin addicts with methadones as a maintenance programme.

When she first set off into studying medicine, she broke many barriers as a female African-African.

Her own family history began with her grandfather who was a slave in Virginia just before the emancipation act was signed.

Colm Flynn caught up with Dr. Freeman at her clinic in Harlem in this report.

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