Doctors Without Borders has helped cure many people in Karachi, Pakistan from hepatitis C infection.
Noor Alam is the first patient to be cured of hepatitis C at MSF’s Machar Clinic in Karachi, Pakistan. He lives with his wife and six children in a rented house midway down a narrow ally in the slum. Approximately seven years ago Noor Alam started to experience severe pain in his body. He went to a local clinic for tests and discovered he had contracted hepatitis C. To sustain the costly treatment he subsequently had to sell his house, but the series of treatments was not successful. Despite facing financial ruin and with a young family to feed, Noor Alam was not cured after two courses of treatment. His situation started to deteriorate. As a migrant from Bangladesh, Noor Alam does not have access to advanced medical treatment in the government health system.
Last year, Noor Alam heard about the MSF clinic in Machar Colony. He visited the clinic and was soon after enrolled in the treatment program. While he was going through treatment, he had to send his eldest three children (girls) to work in the shrimp peeling market so that the family would be able to afford food for the day. One bucket of shrimp can take up to one hour to peel, generating just 20 Pakistani Rupees (USD0.19). They work for a minimum of six hours a day. The girls were unable to continue their education because of this.
Noor Alam’s eldest son is still attending the local school, he wishes for his son to be educated and to be able to build a future other than fishing or fishery. To Noor Alam’s delight he is now cured of hepatitis C.