Migration Health

Healthy Migrants in Healthy Communities

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Syrian refugees in Jordan

Date Published: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Abdul Kareem is a Syrian refugee, who used to live in Dara’a-Athroa’a village, with his wife and three kids. At that time, he worked as a greengrocer and as a truck driver to support his family.

After the Syrian conflict started, he described the difficulties his family faced. "The situation was insecure; we were under a very tight siege without any food or medical supplies for days, so I decided to leave the country to save my family," Abdul Kareem says.

Seeking security and protection, Abdul Kareem and his family spent four days traveling in the conflict zone and facing life-threatening conditions. Finally, they arrived at the Jordanian border, and passed into Jordan at the Nasib crossing border.

 “We were welcomed by the Jordan armed forces and they provided some food and drinks, then they sent us to Raba’a Al Sarhan transit center for security and medical checks, and finally Za’atri camp was our last destination,” Abdul Kareem says.

After few days, Abdul Kareem and his family moved out of the camp and relocated to Salt city. He says, “Some NGOs helped me and my family. They supported us with some food, drinks, clothes and furniture for our new house.”

At some point Abdul Kareem started coughing, had fever and also felt fatigued and weak. He stayed at the hospital for three days, during which the doctors told him he had pneumonia.

“In Syria, we were suffering from siege, lack of food and water, and unhealthy and inconvenient living conditions. That's how I got the disease,” Abdul Kareem said.

Abdul Kareem’s wife attended one of the TB awareness sessions held by IOM. After reading awareness brochure she brought back, Abdul Kareem realized that he had TB symptoms. So he contacted the IOM team and was directed to the chest disease directorate. Once there, he was further checked using chest x-ray, sputum test, and GeneXpert technology. When he was confirmed as positive for TB, treatment began.

He started treatment and was observed by IOM medical team which supported him and helped him getting better. With their psychological support and awareness, Abdul Kareem realized that TB is a totally curable disease.

“When I was diagnosed with TB, I really was afraid to lose my wife and my children, to lose my family. I was weak and unable to support my family, but now and with IOM’s continuous support and help, I completed my treatment and I am totally cured. Now I volunteered with the IOM team in raising TB awareness among Syrian refugees, and in providing DOT services for TB patients, so I can help my people receiving the correct diagnoses and treatment.”