Meet Sandra*. Sandra is a 57-year-old married woman who was a successful merchant. She owned her own plantation and provided for her 7 children. Violent conflict took her three sons, her property, her business, her home.
Ethiopia - The Qoloji site hosts internally displaced persons (IDP) from Ethiopia. Conflict has left many without a safe home. A home they had build for themselves.
Sandra lives with her two children in the camp. She lived in Aweday Town, East Hararge in Oromia Region. She was a strong and hard-working woman who provided for her entire family. Three children died, two others are missing. Her husband is no longer with the family.
She felt devastated and irritated, suffered from frequent severe headaches, lacked sleep, and experienced mental health problems.
IOM build a primary health care clinic at the Qoloji camp. Sandra visited the clinic. In July 2021, she was diagnosed and treated for hypertension. Daily follow-up checks followed and a lifestyle modification. Salt, and coffee reduction were recommended.
She was hesitant towards prescribed medication for mental issues. However, effective counselling sessions with mental health and psychosocial support workers helped. Gradually, her blood pressure reduced following the clinic’s recommendations.
"All I want is to stay alive for my kids who do not have a father. Thanks to IOM Qoloji clinic team for the early diagnosis and treatment. My condition could have led to death or disability. I’m happy to be alive!” -Sandra
IOM health professionals also advised regarding COVID-19. Be aware and practice precautions methods. Wear a mask or at least covering the mouth and nose, and frequent hand washing. The team also urged Sandra to keep physical distance and to take the vaccine. Sandra is emotional when she thinks of the future of her children.
*Name changed to protect patient identity
IOM receives funding from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) for “Strengthening IOM's COVID-19 Life-Saving Response in Humanitarian Settings” in several countries around the world as part of IOM’s Strategic Response and Recovery Plan for COVID-19 (SRRP). We would like to tell the stories of some of the people who benefited from this support.