Inhalers Are a Breath of Fresh Air for Gaza Patients
The donated medicine ensures patients with chronic respiratory diseases aren’t priced out from receiving the care they need
Salim is at Al Huda Benevolent Health Center in Gaza City this morning. His family brought him to the nearest clinic after he spent the night gasping for breath. His five sons feared their father might have COVID-19. Salim, 62, has experienced allergies, chest pain, and shortness of breath during sleep for some time. But last night was worse — and scarier.
Salim had been prescribed a medicine for his breathing problems before, but stopped taking it due to the high cost. Now, his health has deteriorated.
The doctors at the clinic diagnose Salim with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Fares Shaheen is one of the physicians at Al Huda Benevolent Health Center. He explains the challenges facing Salim and his family:
“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in Gaza, Salim has largely been confined to his bedroom. People his age are highly vulnerable to the virus. Given the difficult economic conditions, it would be impossible for him to purchase the medicine.”
Fortunately, Al Huda Benevolent Health Center had the appropriate medication – olodaterol oral inhalation – in stock. Just as importantly, the clinic is able to offer the medicine to patients in need at no charge.
Thanks to a generous medical donation by Americares and support from Islamic Relief USA to cover clearance and local transport fees, Anera recently delivered a shipment of olodaterol inhalers to nine clinics and hospitals across Gaza, including Al Huda Charitable Center. The medicine is prescribed to manage and prevent symptoms of lung diseases like bronchitis and emphysema.
Fares says making medicines available in their community is important, as it allows them to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“We’re thankful that our patients can get their medicine locally, in their neighborhoods.”
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.