Nasreen Bibi (age 65) is among those hundreds of thousands of people in Pakistan who cannot afford a medical treatment due to limited finances. Her family of 6 adults and 2 children survives on a collective earning of less than Rs. 10,000/-. Nasreen suffers from Diabetes for 15 years and did not take her daily medication to control it since the diagnosis. The illness took its toll in early 2009 when she accidently got a cut on her foot. The wound became worse within weeks due to diabetes and the neighborhood doctor failed to treat it. She ended up at the Baqai Oncology Hospital in Nazimabad, Karachi for consultation from a Diabetologist who got alarmed after looking at her foot’s wound which had gangrene. Upon his advice, she underwent a surgery to amputate two of her toes to help stop the gangrene from spreading.
During recovery, she was told to take an injection thrice a day for a few weeks to help control the toxins in her body. This injection costed Rs. 850. Also, weekly medication intake costed Rs. 3500 and the post surgery dressing was for Rs. 300 per day (dressing material+nursing fee). Keeping in mind the costs attached with all these heads, Nasreen started skipping all of them just three weeks later, after exhausting all family savings.
The gangrene started spreading again, she suffered from fever and kept vomiting all day long…