Woman standing in her backyard in Karpinka, Chechnya

Distant healthcare in Chechnya – Petimat’s story continued

In our previous article, we described the dismal situation in Karpinka, a small settlement in Chechnya. Today we’re explaining one of Karpinka’s main issues.

During the Chechen war, health services fell apart. Many hospitals were either destroyed or heavily damaged, and those that remained became overcrowded, straining the already limited medical facilities and staff. While humanitarian organisations repaired some hospitals (in 2009 Islamic Relief rebuilt a hospital in Sayasan and in 2006 they reconstructed and equipped two operation theatres in Grozny), many were abandoned in their inoperative state, leaving countless people without access to health facilities.

Like many other areas, Karpinka’s first-aid station was destroyed in the conflict. Whilst some donations were spent on rebuilding the point, it remained dysfunctional, causing the Chechen Health Ministry to request the action of Islamic Relief to return it to its former state so that residents could receive the treatment they need without having to travel to the nearest hospital located 7km away.

Petimat’s story continued

A woman standing with her three sons in her back yard in Karpinka, Chechnya

Petimat with her three sons; Adam, Magomed and Apty

Petimat’s life has been a struggle since she lost her husband, and the absence of a nearby functional medical point has proved even more devastating for her family. In 2012, her mother-in-law tragically died from high blood pressure whilst waiting for an ambulance from the hospital. Had there had been a functional medical point nearby, she could have received the treatment she needed to normalise her blood pressure. Heartbreakingly, Petimat said “Who knows, maybe my mother-in-law, the grandmother of my children whom they loved so much, would be alive.”

On a separate occasion, Petimat’s son Adam ran home with unbearable stomach pains. With the help of her two other sons, the family got to the medical point, only to find that it was closed. Upon phoning the nurse, they were told to go to the hospital. It later turned out that Adam was suffering from a peptic ulcer – open stomach sores that Adam had to endure throughout his hour and a half bus journey to the hospital.

We’re rehabilitating this building to ensure it can return to providing vital medical assistance for residents of Karpinka. Next time, we’ll be sharing what we will be equipping the building with and the positive impact that the rehabilitation will have.

Read more of our health case studies.

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