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Success Stories
Naima and Mohammed Ahmad

 

In 2006, four-month-old Mohammed Ahmad was brought to the IFH's Pediatric Unit by his mother Naima, a 20-year old Egyptian immigrant. She was concerned that her son was not gaining weight. Mohammed's development was far from normal for his age: he was severely malnourished and his meteoric curve was a concern to specialists at the Unit. He had not had any of the elementary vaccinations, such as diphtheria, polio or tetanus, as his mother did not think them necessary. When Naima also underwent examinations at the IFH, they revealed that she was suffering from post-natal depression.

 

Naima and her husband had no formal education and had moved to Jordan to improve their minimal living standards. Life in the new country was hard, however. Naima's husband worked up to 18 hours a day as a watchman in a residential building in a middle-income area in Amman. The family lived in the basement of the property which lacked sunlight, was damp, had poor air quality and was very cold in the winter.

The IFH staff made regular home visits and advised Naima on several health topics. She consequently started to bottle feed Mohammed as a complement to breast feeding after six months. They taught her how important it was to boil the water and bottles, as opposed to using unclean tap water.

Naima saw psychologists at the IFH during the whole period, who improved her mental health considerably. She was also assisted in choosing contraception and was given iodine supplements.

 

"As an immigrant, I had no support from relatives, but the staff of the IFH became like sisters to me," Naima says. “I have no education but I can read, and they encouraged me to develop skill.”

A year after Naima and Mohammed first visited the IFH, Mohammed's physical condition has considerably improved. The control performed on all children at 18 months of age at the IFH showed that everything from his level of hemoglobin in the blood to quality of his teeth were fine.

 
Siena Idwan
 
Siena Idwan was suffering from a great deal of stress.  Five years into her marriage, she was still childless. Her husband suffered from a range of mental illnesses and physically abused her. Neither of them had higher education, and with Siena’s husband in and out of employment, their income was meager and inconsistent.

Determined to stop to the abuse she suffered, Siena contacted the IFH. She joined a support group at the IFH for women victims of domestic violence, and received individual counseling.  To combat the stress of her situation, she took part in the yoga and relaxation program at the IFH’s gym.

Longing to have a child, Siena also underwent testing at the Institute. The results revealed that Siena and her husband’s infertility was a result of ITB, a rare blood disease Siena had contracted. Treatment improved Siena’s condition and she soon became pregnant. However, her pregnancy was treated as high risk, and she received regular home visits from the IFH staff to monitor her health and baby’s development. In 2006, Siena gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Both Siena and her husband regularly come to the clinic for check-ups for their son.

 

The situation at home has greatly improved too. Siena still attends the women’s support group, and her husband takes part in counseling sessions for men at the IFH.  

 
Khalid Dajani

 

Nine month old Khalid Dajani suffered from a severe curvature of the femur. His 25-year old mother kept him mostly indoors, unaware that sunlight provides vitatmin D vital for bone development. The family lived in the basement of a residential building, where it was cold, dark and often damp.

 

At the IFH, physiotherapists evaluated Khalid's condition and started a training program of exercises to help improve his condition. They recommended that his mother take him outdoors for a minimum of 10 minutes a day. He was also given calcium supplements.

At the age of one, Khalid was able to grab pieces of furniture and hold on to them and, although late for his age, he could finally stand upright. His legs were no longer curved and he could live a normal life like other toddlers Today, at age two, Kahlid is a happy, healthy boy.

 
 
 
 Nana Al Husseini

 

Nana Al Husseini was 37 when she fled Iraq and came to Amman. She had lost her job as an engineering teacher in her hometown of Baghdad as a result of the war. She also lost her brother, her sister and her mother.

 

Suffering from severe depression, Nana was referred to the IFH for psychological counseling. Her husband brought her to the clinic. He says this was the only time she would leave the house. Nana was unable to maintain relationships with people, and struggled to make even the simplest of decisions. She could not sleep and had no appetite.  She had made an attempt to commit suicide with an overdose of aspirin. 

 

After three sessions at the IFH, the psychiatrist made a plan of therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was used in the weekly sessions. Nana also partook in relaxation exercises, meditation and sport activities. Every week she was encouraged to write down how she managed her life and any positive thoughts. Nana was not prescribed any medicine or anti-depressants.

 

The progress she made surprised both herself and the psychiatrist. After just a short series of sessions and a follow up meeting, Nana had gained a positive outlook on life. Through counseling, Nana developed a new approach to dealing with her problems, and she maintains relationships over online chats and e-mails with her friends who have been scattered by the war. Nana has also recently started working as a volunteer for the Red Cross to help others, especially refugees from her home country.

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