After parting from her husband, Albika returned to her hometown of Karpinka. With no job or prospects, knowing she would not be able to support anyone, she was forced to leave her three children with their father, 50km away.
She now lives with her parents, four siblings and two nieces. Only two of the seven adults have been able to get a job. They earn so little that they’ve had to borrow money from their friends and neighbours, which they now can’t pay back.
Karpinka was one of the many settlements in Chechnya to be heavily affected by the war. Albika’s house was completely destroyed. They received compensation money, but only enough to rebuild half of their house; these few rooms have to house nine people.
It wasn’t only the houses that were destroyed. Their local medical point was shattered – the place that was meant to provide medical help for the local residents who could not afford, or wait, to travel to the nearest hospital, 7km away.Many people in the area suffer from unstable blood pressure. Whether too high or too low, it can become fatal if it doesn’t receive the urgent attention it needs, as Petimat tragically found out.
One day, Albika’s neighbour recognised that she was experiencing the symptoms of high blood pressure. Realising it would take too long to travel to the hospital, she diagnosed herself with the appropriate medicine. Unfortunately her diagnosis was wrong. Her blood pressure was in fact too low, and by giving herself medicine to lower her blood pressure further, she fell into a critical condition and had to be rushed to intensive care.
Luckily, she survived. However, next time, she may not be so lucky. Had the medical point been working, she could have had her blood pressure measured within minutes. She wouldn’t have had to put herself into a life-threatening position.
We’re rehabilitating the medical point to ensure it can return to providing vital medical assistance for residents of Karpinka. We’ll be repairing all of the walls and floors and supplying it with the necessary equipment. We’ll be keeping you updated with the progress of the rehabilitation on our website and our Facebook page.