Humaira’s Story

Many of these patients are like 14-month-old Humaira, who was running a high fever when she was brought to the ChildLife-SINA South Florida clinic in Machar Colony. Humaira is the youngest of six siblings. Her father makes a pitiful living digging graves and his meager earnings are hardly enough to support his family, let alone bear the strain of illnesses. There are days when he comes home empty-handed and has to borrow from the grocer’s to feed his family. Humaira’s mother drops her voice when she admits that they owe the grocer thousands of rupees.
Humaira has been up for the past 20 hours, ravaged by her fever. She is now slumped over her mother’s shoulder, half-asleep, whimpering as the doctor gently puts his stethoscope on her chest and checks her throat. Soon, the diagnosis is announced: it’s a viral infection. Medicines are dispensed by the clinic’s pharmacy for free and Humaira’s mother breathes a sigh of relief as she leaves the clinic. Slum-dwellers often end up spending two to three days’ wages in simply getting to a hospital in their hour of need, so this ChildLife clinic is a godsend to Humaira’s mother.