Imagine struggling to fill your lungs with air. In the midst of an asthma attack, you know that access to a nebulizer will provide you with relief; you’ll be able to breathe again — but when you reach the hospital miles away from your home, you face long lines, ultimately waiting hours for treatment in distress.
Claudia, age 15, lives at the Hosanna House, a home for abused or neglected children, in the impoverished Stann Creek area of Belize. Claudia has severe asthma, and frequently traveled to overcrowded local clinics, hospitals or emergency rooms to receive treatment for asthma attacks.
Since Rise Against Hunger provided partner Kids Konnect 4 Jesus with a nebulizer to the Hosanna House, Claudia now has access to the treatment that she needs without having to leave the home. Each year, Rise Against Hunger leverages partnerships to distribute life-changing product donations, including medical supplies and equipment, to countries around the globe. Claudia shared,
I am breathing very good now that I can get the medicine each night — no having to go to the scary hospital or clinic. It is very good. Thank you.
Kimara, a community health worker and house mother at the Hosanna House, added, “The nebulizers help the children, as wheezing and chest colds are a lot worst when the weather is bad. When it was late at night, we had no choice but to go to the emergency room, which is about a 30 minute ride. We really appreciate having the nebulizer at our home as the hospital is far away.”
While asthma may seem commonplace and treatable in the U.S., Shirley Stone, RN and Coordinator of KK4Jesus Medical team, explains that in Belize, the condition can become much more serious. She shares,
The nebulizer is so common in the States that we don’t consider asthma to be life-threatening to most patients, but here in Belize it absolutely saves lives. Access to medical care is not guaranteed to be quick enough to treat asthma before patients are in real distress.
Claudia adds, “I have given out the machines provided to us to the outlying clinics as they have people lined up for treatments daily with season change and flu season and to individuals like Claudia, who was hospitalized three times in the six months I knew her, before having a machine to use nightly.”