2-year-old Dara* was brought to our Medical Clinic recently by his mother because of a skin infection.

Like all of the families we work with, Dara’s parents often struggle to provide for their 3 young children. Dara’s father is a motorcycle taxi driver (“motdop”) and his mother sews clothes at home to earn an income. On a good day the couple will earn around $8-$12, but there are days when they earn nothing.

Dara was suffering from his skin infection for about almost one year before his mother brought him to M’Lop Tapang. She learned about our services when our Mobile Library program visited the neighborhood her family lives in. Before that, they looked for treatment at private clinics in town and each time they would spend about $10 for medications. Sometimes when they did not have the money for medications they borrowed from a local money lender (the interest alone of borrowing $10 from the money lender was $2.5 every week until it was paid back). The treatments at these private clinics proved to be short term – Dara would get better for a while and then relapse so the family would seek care from another place.

Dara’s mother explained: “My son cries almost every night and we can’t sleep well. I am so sad and worried about him even when we had to go into debt. I am stressed about which food we should feed him because I am afraid that the food may affect my son and make his disease worse. I work hard to find money for my son’s medicine and for my family.”

At our clinic, Dara was assessed by our medical team who also consulted with a pediatrician who was volunteering with us at that time. The little boy was diagnosed with a fungal infection and given the appropriate medications for six weeks. During this time the staff continued to follow up with him weekly and say improvement on each visit. After six weeks Dara’s rash had completely disappeared and has not returned. All treatments and medications he received at M’Lop Tapang were provided to his family for free.

“I am glad and grateful for the doctors help. After a few weeks he is cured now. He can eat and sleep well now. I worry less now that we don’t have to spend so much money on medications and have more money to spend on food for the family.”

*name and photo changed for confidentiality