My first ever field visit as Field Assistant at Trubat was very exciting. Our team was treated well by the patient when we went to give him MDT. My excitement dimmed as my colleague told me about the next patient who was troublesome. Every visit to that patient’s house was dejected and he was so stubborn to take medicines.
Our next stop was the same patient. As soon as we reached the corner of the street near his home, his whole family started shouting and abusing us. We tried hard to explain them purpose of our visit and that the medicines and treatment was all free of cost but seems they were determined not to listen to any single word.
Leaving them with heavy heart, we came back. Time flew and I visited Turbat again after 2 years. Recalling the upsetting situation and that patient, I asked my colleague about him and he informed me that there was no progress.
Time stops for no one, days passed and I became the incharge of Turbat centre, my all patients had been put on MDT except that one. Feeling soft for him, I decided to try once more and visited a local doctor to accompany me to visit the patient’s place. The doctor also failed to convince him and his family for taking the medicines and we both returned empty handed. Now, I was tired and firm not to visit this patient ever again.
One day, I heard a noise coming outside of clinic. I peeped out and saw the same patient climbing down the vehicle with his wife. Quite surprised I rushed out and supported him as he was too weak to walk and burning with fever. After examination I found him suffering from ENL reaction. I admitted him in ward and arranged blood for infusion. His wife was thankful, weeping and asking me for forgiveness at the same time.
After two weeks he was little better but weak and discharged form clinic upon his request, with a promise to be regular for treatment in the future.
Some time later, I was again on my visit to his village for MDT. Upon reaching his home, his family welcomed me warmly and made room for my seating. My eyes were searching him, anxious to see him in good health but I was shocked to hear that he passed away 10 days back. Holding my tears and grief I prayed for his departed soul and left his house.
Living at Ittehad Manzil, with other deformed patients Deedar and Hakeema developed a liking towards each other. Their past was alike and their present was same as they both were suffering from leprosy. The pain they shared was the reason of their marriage in June 2000.
When few years ago they were expelled from their tribes, they found no place to go as leprosy is considered as a curse in our society in general, and anybody suffering form this disease has to experience a bitter taste of life. Ittehad Manzil; a home and hope for neglected, a place of unity and harmony has adopted them and now they are permanent inmates there. Deedar being completely blind and Hakeema have an amputated leg, but both are living examples of courage and nerves.
Hakeema had grown a small field at the rare of Ittehad Manzil. Though, she has only on leg and deformed hands, she keeps her self busy cutting plants for goats and Deedar helps her looking after the goats. Imagine how a completely blind man can do this?
Hakeema is divorced form her first marriage; she has four children who occasionally visit her. Both Hakeema and Deedar had a negative perspective towards life, their hopes died when they were cursed by their loved ones, but while living at Ittehad Manzil their healthy approach and positive likeness towards each other made things easier and life beautiful.
Noor Din's Story
Like many other blessings of Allah Almighty, a faithful life partner is a blessing too. Nooruddin’s wife proved to be not only a good companion, but a good mother and a support to the family.
She managed to move her family form Kotri to Karachi just for the sake of her husband’s treatment. Her husband, Nooruddin – a body of skin and bones suffering from Pulmonary TB and weight only 35 kg.
They are family of four; Nooruddin, his wife and their two sons. Two years ago he was diagnosed TB, despite consulting many private doctors, Nooruddin’s disease did not cure. One of the reasons of his waning health was that the family had not had enough money for regular treatment. They had been living in a two room house and were three time thrown out by their landlord by not paying the rent.
When they came to Karachi, Nooruddin was admitted to MLR centre. He was too weak to walk or sit, and could not come to centre, so her wife took the responsibility to take medicines and feed him regularly.
At times one of our team members went to feed DOTS to Nooruddin at his home if his wife could not make it. His wife was the only breadwinner in the family and she did great job by managing centre visits, home and job at the same time. Though, Noorudding was a bit rude to her but she never raised her voice and continued to look after him as a good wife.
The most difficult time for this miserable family was when Nooruddin was too weak and admitted in OICD. His wife was the only person who could stay with him in the hospital and manage the home as well.
One day she went home to see her children and could not go back to attend her husband at hospital. The OICD management put Nooruddin in a taxi and sent him back to his home. She, then brought him to MLR centre where he was given all necessary medical help.
After few months of regular medicines and proper care Nooruddin was completely fine and discharged from MLR center. That was the wonderful day for his family.
Gradually his health improved, and he started working. He got support from Bait-ul-Mal through his area councilor and set up a PCO. His son also started giving tuitions and now the financial condition of the family getting better.
In all this difficult time, Noorudddin’s wife stood beside him courageously, which infact, was one of the reasons this family regained its strength.
We are proud of our team too, who at every step cooperated with this TB patient and his family to get things back in shape.
Tale of Pain and Tears
That was the worst experience of my life, running among dead bodies of animals and human in search of my son.
I work in TB-Leprosy centre and I was on two-day leave from clinic. I was so excited to spend the time with my family, but this excitement turned into a nightmare when a devastating earthquake jolted our area on 8 October. That day my younger children were in school and my elder son was in Muzaffarabad with my nephew to visit our relatives. I was working in fields when i heard an explosion. For few moments everything got vanished out of sight as dust was spiralling around. When i collected my senses back, I rushed towards my home, my wife was there – alive but there were cracks in walls. I, then asked a neighbor to come with me to my children’s school. Thank god, my kids were safe. Still I was restless concerning my other son and nephew’s safety. Suddenly a man came with the news of my nephew’s death. My brother and I left for Muzaffarabad at once. There were no means of travelling and communication system was damaged. We decided to go by foot. I still remember those horrid scenes. Dead bodies were scattered and we were on our way to ensure our loved ones’ safety.
We reached Dhanni on second day and stayed there for night. I had nightmares of corpses and injured and stayed awake.
Early next morning we started our journey again and reached Muzaffarabad. Our relatives had already buried my nephew. We joined and helped others for burials. We were all the same at that time – helpless, miserable, needy, without food and shelter under open sky. Soon, aids pooling in from different corners of the country. The rescue work was heart touching and unforgettable. May Allah shower His blessing upon all of us.