For Sinara Begum, 29, living in a refugee camp for the past six years in Myanmar has been extremely challenging. She recently gave birth to her son in her small bamboo shelter which she shares with her two other young children, aged one and three years old.
“The drains and roads are dirty and muddy, especially in rainy season, so I fear they may pick up illnesses or they may get injured. We live in one room and there is smoke from the cooking fire which I know affects them.”
Her previous pregnancies in the camp were difficult, since accessing health care such as vaccinations and medical treatments meant travelling by bike to a clinic in a part of the camp far from their home.
In the past few months however, Sinara has had health services much closer to home. She has been using Islamic Relief’s mobile clinic, which is a short walk from her shelter. There, she has access to a doctor and nurses, with any medicine needed administered the same day. The clinic, which operates in different locations across the camp on a rotating basis, has been a lifeline for many including Sinara.
“I have been able to take my children for regular check-ups and to get medicines,” Sinara tells us, describing how her children were able to recover quicker than before from the seasonal illnesses they pick up regularly.
“It is much quicker than before and I have always got what I needed for my children,” Sinana says. Translators in the clinic help the process move along smoothly, and facilitate clear communication between patients and clinical staff.
Two of Sinara’s children are able to go to school, but as her family grows she is unsure how they will sustain the cost involved.
Life before moving to the camp in 2012 was very different, she recalls. She was living in Nazee village, outside of the state’s capital Sittwe, and her husband supported her and their two children through his job as a shopkeeper.
“Our family would be better off if there were less restrictions and more job opportunities. We are trying our best to raise our family but we need more support.”
To support mothers like Sinara, donate towards our Global Emergencies Appeal. Click here.