After hours of picking ripe olives on her small, inherited plot of land, Aamna Al-Jadaa was restless for days on end.
She’d been advised by her family doctor not to overwork herself after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis four years ago. But even with chronic pain, this vivacious 72-year-old does not want to rest.
“Every joint in my body hurts,” said Aamna with a smile. This mother of six and grandmother of 20 youngsters laughs to make light of the situation. It’s just been made better because the new charitable hospital in town finally has the right medication for her.
Anera delivered the medicine Diclofenac Potassium to her West Bank village of Halhoul, thanks to a donation from Direct Relief. “It is used as a painkiller, anti-inflammatory drug and antibiotic. It is simply fundamental,” said Aamna’s doctor, Dr. Yousef Al-Nawaj’a.
"Every joint in my body hurts," said the mother of six and grandmother of 20 youngsters.
Dr. Al-Nawaj’a is careful when prescribing medication to older patients like Aamna. “For seniors, and especially chronic patients, we make sure the dosage is not too high so we can avoid any side effects.”
Like many of her neighbors, Aamna lives in poverty and would not be able to afford medicine on her own. The dreadful economic situation in Halhoul has left most residents impoverished and jobless. Families often have many children to feed, clothe and educate. So it’s a blessing when expensive medicines are available free of charge. Halhoul’s lone hospital depends on Anera’s donations of medicines and medical supplies as it serves all 30,000 residents of the city.
“This great woman has dedicated her entire life to serving her family, and I am glad I can give back to women like her,” said Dr. Al-Nawaj’a. “In our society, women bear a heavy burden upon their shoulders: giving birth and raising children, doing endless household chores, tending to the land and earning a living. This can certainly drain their health.”
Seasonal Illnesses Strain Palestine Clinics
Not far from Halhoul, the city of Dura deals with many of the same struggles with about the same population. Yet Dura has no hospital and depends largely on a small charitable clinic for everyday health matters. The clinic keeps a steady stock of vital medications that are entirely provided by Anera.
“Our partnership with Anera is as invaluable as medicine for a patient in need,” said Dr. Salem Dudeen.”We have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Anera and its dedicated donors. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to continue serving the poor.”
At this small clinic in the heart of Dura, doctors and nurses have seen a lot of sick children and adults this season. They treat around 50 – 60 patients a day, and most suffer from upper respiratory infections, which spread rapidly during the changing seasons. Anera’s recent shipment also included Augmentin, a medicine that combats the spread of bacteria and infections.
“Our partnership with Anera is as invaluable as medicine for a patient in need,” said Dr. Dudeen.
Two of those patients are three-year-old Mariam and 10-year-old Arafat, who lay side by side on hospital beds. Their worried mothers waited beside them, waiting their turn to be examined. It turned out that both children had tonsillitis and throat infections. “There is nothing to worry about,” he said, reassuring them. “With the donated medicine I’ve prescribed, they will be back to their playful selves in no time.”
Vital donations by committed partners have helped these medical facilities function efficiently, allowing them to develop, grow and reach more people in need. Anera’s shipment of medicines from Direct Relief bring peace of mind to restless grandmothers like Aamna and the worried mothers of Mariam and Arafat.