Haleema ’s hikaya , a 60-year-old lady who faced barriers accessing health care in Al Kufra Al Jadida

/ / Human interest stories

Haleema, is 60 –years old and lives in Al Kufra Al Jadida; a remote village located in the Al Kufra Region. She has chronic diseases that affect her daily life and have made her unable to carry out her daily activities normally.

Haleema suffers from hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and osteoarthritis. She has faced many challenges to access regularly to quality health care, as there is only one health care facility in her village lacking qualified medical staff such as a medical doctor.  The necessary medicines for the control of her chronic diseases are also missing or inconsistently present. Additionally, her village is far from Al Jawf, the main city in the region where fairly better health services are available. There are no public transportation services available in the area to get there. Haleema relies on her relatives to overcome these challenges; “When I urgently need to see a doctor, I rely on my nephew Mohamed, may God bless him, to drive me to Al Kufra center. Mohamed spares no effort to offer me help, but I don’t want to bother him all the time. I’m keeping him only for hard times”, says Haleema. Besides to the lack of medications that she continuously needs to control her blood sugar and blood pressure levels, the lack of financial resources and her modest income from home bread baking further hinder Haleema from getting the medicines she needs when they are not available for free at the public health facility‘s pharmacy.

When she heard about Première Urgence Internationale’s (PUI) Mobile Health Team providing comprehensive medical services, on a weekly basis, in the Al Kufra Al Jadida Health Center, Haleema sought care. During her visit to the doctor, she explained her situation, and the doctor provided a complete consultation: patient’s interrogation, medical examination, related medical counselling and prescriptions of drugs and blood test, which she could have filled by the onsite pharmacy.  Currently, Haleema regularly sees the Première Urgence Internationale’s  Mobile Health Team to monitor her chronic diseases and receive full treatment. A significant improvement in her health has been recorded. This was reflected in both her blood pressure and glycemia, as well as the relief of most of the pain associated with osteoarthritis. When she was asked about how she feels now, Haleema replied: “Today, I am able to cope with and control my chronic diseases. I’m following  the advice of Première Urgence Internationale’s doctor’s, and I am no longer facing any issues to get my medications and the necessary health care. This helped me regain my activity and lead my life in a healthy way with no sufferings”.

Haleema is not the only person in Al Kufra Al Jadida who is in a dire need for proper health care services. There are many “hikayat” in the village like Haleema’s “hikaya”! This is why Première Urgence Internationale is committed to provide medical services for people in the most remote areas of Al Kufra, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, which added further burdens on an already challenged healthcare system. Thanks to its project funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the Swiss Confederation, Première Urgence Internationale was able to alleviate the sufferings of many people like Haleema. Première Urgence Internationale’s continued efforts aim to provide support to populations affected by humanitarian crises and to be ready to help whenever and wherever needed.