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Aqal's Story

Aqal's Story


Aqal Bibi tried everything when she noticed lesions on her nose. Then she met International Medical Corps.

Treatment for leishmaniasis

Refugee Village|Diagnosis|A life saved


27 year old Mrs. Aqal Bibi lives with her husband and their three children in the Afghan Refugee Village Baghbanan, District Peshawar, Pakistan. Already struggling to get by, their situation got even more difficult when Aqal one day started noticing lesions on her nose.

Working as a taxi driver, her husband Janan is the breadwinner of the family, supporting Aqal and their children. However, as his wife’s medical condition deteriorated, Janan found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

Aqal tried everything from home remedies to traditional medicines, and even met with traditional healers. It all cost a lot of money, but had little effect on her lesions, which were spreading. There was no proper treatment available in the village or in nearby areas.

One day, Janan ran into one of his old neighbours, who told him that his wife could get treatment at Baghbanan Health Facility, run by International Medical Corps, and gave him the contact number of the hospital. “That phone call saved my wife’s life”, Janan said.

After laboratory diagnosis Aqal was diagnosed with leishmaniasis, and given appropriate medication. Shortly after, the skin lesions started decreasing and fading.

Occurences of leishmaniasis are on the rise in Pakistan, especially in the regions bordering Afghanistan and in cities that have recently had an influx of Afghan refugees. Last year alone, 1,250 cases of Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) have been diagnosed in International Medical Corps’ health facilities.

Aqal and her family are grateful for the work of International Medical Corps. “We have visited so many health facilities for proper diagnosis and treatment but got discouraged and felt disappointed, because of the lack of awareness and medicine for the treatment of leishmaniasis in the local market.

Traditional medicines didn’t work, they only made me worse. It was like a death sentence… I want to encourage everyone who is suffering from leishmaniasis to go to the Baghbanan Health Facility and get treated.

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