For years, 42-year-old Sa'diya has been working at a cosmetics factory in Hebron, handling and breathing in perfumes and fragrant materials for six hours each day.
Four years ago she developed asthma, and relies on a charitable medical clinic in her West Bank village for treatment. Sa'diya uses her inhaler the second her asthma symptoms are triggered.
"Asthma patients can't live normal lives without keeping an inhaler in their pockets, ready to ease any symptom that might arise," stresses her physician Dr. Khalid. "Otherwise, their health worsens and they might end up needing immediate medical intervention."
When Sa’diya used up her inhaler, the young doctor puts her mind at ease, informing her that the it was in stock. After examining her breathing and asking some questions about her health, he prescribed a newly-donated inhaler provided by Direct Relief and delivered by Anera. The inhaler provides an effective combination of drugs to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cope with their condition. The inhalers are given out to patients for free through charitable clinics and hospitals that provide medical services to poverty-stricken communities in the West Bank.
A lot of factors in my home environment can trigger my asthma at any time. And once it acts up, my breathing gets difficult and I end up feeling exhausted, barely able to move.
Sa'diya's husband is unemployable, as disease has made him homebound and wearied his body. Being the sole breadwinner in her family of six, the inhaler means more to Sa'diya than a mere medication to help her lead a normal life. It has enabled her to continue supporting her family. Whatever Sa'diya makes from her work in the factory goes directly to the benefit of her children.
Even outside of work, Sa'diya's asthma is always present. "A lot of factors in my home environment can trigger my asthma at any time, like the secondhand smoke I inhale from my husband, the humidity outside on wet days, and plants in my garden. And once it acts up, my breathing gets difficult and I end up feeling exhausted, barely able to move. The inhaler makes me breathe better and feel better."
With children still in school, Sa'diya can't afford to miss a day of work, and the inhaler has helped maintain her production and efficiency.
In marginalized communities, such donations go a long way in bettering the lives of families. When charitable clinics have the means to care for impoverished citizens, they allow families to grow and thrive.