First Patient Story

Falah is a registered non-governmental organisation which is managed exclusively by the students of Aga Khan University, Karachi. Falah has established a record of providing finances and medications to non-affording patients. One of the branches of Falah, Mohsin Abro, focuses on meeting patients who cannot afford medical treatments, and gives them funds collected by Falah Finance from donations provided by generous philanthropists and from hosting various charity events throughout the year. Every day, our members meet patients and their families, each with a unique heart wrenching story as some suffer from various diseases and others that are limited by financial constraints.

One such story is of Nazeera Bibi. She is a 60 year old resident of Karachi who was widowed 12 years ago when her husband passed away from tuberculosis making her lose her steady source of income and support. Consequently, Nazeera was left to be the sole earning member of her household, but earning Rs. 2000 by stitching quilts, did not make ends meet for her. Considering further that her entire family is dependent on her, Nazeera has been a victim of prolonged financial constraints, but for the last 3 years, Falah has generated funds to ease her life, which have resulted from various donations and charity events. However, this does not conclude her story.

Her only son, Fazal, was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure almost 4 years ago, and has been
bedridden and under her care since then. Requiring dialysis three times a week, Fazal is taken to an outside hospital for his treatment and also requires costly injections before every visit. His weekly injection and transportation costs total to about Rs. 20,400 per week. Given this high cost, Nazeera cannot financially support her son’s healthcare. But the donations from Falah have helped. Even though these donations hardly cover the total cost, they at least ensure the safeguarding of her son’s life, whom she expects to be the source of support for the family in the near future.

Supporting her family often results in a compromise of Nazeera’s own health and nutrition. Her living condition is also challenging due to the excessive shortage of gas, water, and electricity, adding to the total burden she has to carry. With high temperatures in the summer, and the unavailability of basic commodities, the family is fighting yet another battle with the heat. Nazeera has to take her son to the open fields in the hot summer so that he could get a decent night’s sleep. To this end, Falah recently purchased a rechargeable electric fan for Nazeera so that the family has at least one worry and difficulty to forget about.

Nazeera often visits the Falah office, where she is provided medication for Fazal, Shamsher, and
herself, and also collects the monthly donations that are raised for her by Falah.
“They do a lot of good work and they are always in my prayers”, she told a Falah member on one of her visits to the office. All of us at Falah hope that we can continue to help and support Nazeera, and many others like her, who are in medical and financial need, in the years to come.