Relief from Allergies in the West Bank

June 13, 2010 ANERA
Health, In-Kind Medical and Relief
Husnieh, from the West Bank, sits across the desk from her doctor with a box of allergy medications in her hand. Husniyeh, with Dr. Anwar, has benefitted from ANERA's recent shipment of donated medicines from AmeriCares, which helps relieve her year-round allergies.

With itchy, watery eyes, Husniyeh Ahmad walked into the clinic, outside the city of Hebron, after a busy day at school. Husniyeh is a middle school teacher and has been suffering from allergies for over 20 years. Unfortunately for her, the classrooms are equipped with blackboards, meaning she is obliged to use chalk nearly every day.

“I experience irritation when using chalk, but it’s a good thing that Dr. Anwar’s clinic is nearby.”

A year-round allergy, such as Husniyeh’s, is the reaction of the body’s immune system to things that are normally harmless. “My allergy is triggered when I do the simplest tasks like handling flour or sweeping the floor,” she said.

It’s easy to take allergy meds for granted. But for those who can’t get them, they’re a real blessing.

Dr. Anwar sees his largest number of allergy patients during hot and dry summer days, so the newly-donated Claritin packages from AmeriCares have arrived at a very opportune time. The Claritin donation, delivered by ANERA, is relieving hundreds of impoverished adults and children in the village from allergy symptoms. “This dryness in the air and the pollination that occurs when seasons change trigger allergies in people with a sensitive immune system like Husniyeh. Whether it’s a seasonal allergy or a year-round allergy, the symptoms are similar: runny and stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, and constant sneezing.”

A box of claritin delivered to the West Bank, Palestine.

ANERA distributed the medicines to the West Bank.

The clinic received packages of Claritin tablets and liqui-gels, benefiting allergy patients who, in other circumstances, would never have been able to afford to buy such medication.

“My patients find Claritin effective and easy to take; the tablets easily melt in the mouth, which is excellent for children, and the gel capsules are easy to swallow,” explained Dr. Anwar.

“There was an elderly woman who came into my clinic not very long ago suffering from itching due to her allergy. I gave her [Claritin] and after taking them she said the itching disappeared, just like that, as though they were magical.”

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