With some difficulties Hakim* is turning on his mat on the floor. He’s been living in Tajikistan for nine years, together with his wife and daughter. His wife Halima* tells their story:“We come from Afghanistan. My husband studied law in Russia and was working in the civil service. He was accused of being a Russian Spy.”
Hakim was taken away in a car and beaten into a coma. Halima was told where she could find his body. Hakim was still alive, but his spine was injured badly from the blows he received. He recovered enough that his wife could take him home. When it was discovered that he was still alive they were threatened. That’s when the family fled with only what they had on to Tajikistan.
Halima is earning a meager living through cleaning and washing up. The money is just enough for food. She had to teach herself medical skills like injections and wound dressing to be able to look after Hakim. At one point they were evicted from the one room they rented. They were living on the street for a few days until a lady offered them a small apartment for free.
Due to his physical disability, Hakim can barely walk the few steps to the toilet. He has high blood pressure, diabetes, incontinence, has constant pain and a decubitus wound. All this is the result of the beating. Halima found a creative way to sew panty liners or sanitary towels to keep her husband dry while she is out. Hakim is thin, so the large children’s diapers fit him, but they are too expensive to buy regularly. Hakim has partial memory loss. As his memories of his active lifestyle is recovered, he is getting depressed, since he cannot move and provide for his family.
Operation Mercy is supporting a local NGO to do relief work among the Afghan refugee population. With the help of the expatriate doctor James*, Hakim was able to get a proper consultation of his situation and adjusted medication. James shared his impressions:
“The doctors prescribed him four different creams for the decubitus. I explained that one is sufficient. I also explained which other medication is not needed with his condition. Now the family can save the money they used to spend on medication and can use it for the education of their daughter.”
In the coming months Operation Mercy through the local NGO will support the family with food packages and medication.