Sher* and Munira* arrived in Tajikistan five years ago from Afghanistan with their six children. The children are well integrated as they play and live among the Tajik children. They like going to school and are eager to learn. A privilege, some refugee children do not have. Sher earns a meager income as a shoemaker. They rent out their small house back in Afghanistan to get at least a small additional income. Munira is not able to work much since she has pain in both legs. A local doctor diagnosed her with arthrosis. Munira shares her experience:
“The doctor takes only a very small fee for the treatment. He promised that I will be healed within a year. But you need to buy this expensive medicine from this specific pharmacy, not from any other place.”
As part of our Afghan Refugee Relief project, our partner organization is offering medical consultations through an expatriate doctor. Dr. Adam shook his head while looking through the diagnosis and the medication list:
“The diagnosis is wrong. What the lady needs is physical exercise to strengthen the legs. And this medication is completely unnecessary. Some of the pills are not even for arthrosis. The patient even developed stomach issues taking all these medicines,” he said.
Sher has also a health issue, he has a kidney stone. A doctor offered to get rid of the stone, but it would cost an average year’s income. Dr. Adam looked at the Ultrasounds and concluded that the stone is no danger at all. Simply drinking more water would help the kidney to work better again.
These consultations, as simple as they might seem, are a huge help for the Afghan Refugee Population. They do not have the network to go to different doctors for further advice and they have to trust whatever they hear. Helping in this way removes a heavy financial burden from the refugees, funds they can now use for school fees or even just to buy food or pay rent.