Dr. Hadia Aslam is on a mission to dignify refugees with access to healthcare.
The Ajala Project presents Dr. Hadia Aslam, a doctor changing the world.
Hadia Aslam left a life of comfort to fly 3000km to single-handedly set up a medical and dental facility for refugees? The Ajala Project had the honour of interviewing Hadia Aslam on July 19th, 2016. What an inspiration!
Being female, Asian, and a Muslim, Dr. Hadia Aslam felt the damaging effects of discrimination and the need to get up and do something about it. For some people, this means voicing their opinion on social media or standing up for their beliefs at a public protest. For Dr. Hadia Aslam, someone who has seen the first-hand effects of how discrimination and fear directly impact the health of minorities, this meant setting up a medical facility to serve the refugee populations arriving in France and Greece.
It involved endless hours of work and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers who worked day and night to make Health Point Foundation a reality. Volunteers like Dr Maniza Malook, UK based General practitioner, was the first doctor to came out to Lesvos and continuously carried out 20 hour day shifts at the clinics serving the endless number of refugees arriving at Lesvos. The Health Point Foundation team is made up of medical, psychological and dental health professionals including virtual administration staff living around the world, as well as former refugees.
The foundation initially started in refugee camps in France, which then moved across to Greece where Syrian refugees left Izmir in Turkey to make the perilous journey to Lesvos. After working as a doctor for five years, she finally decided to set up her own foundation combining her medical training with her passion for relief work. Happy to collaborate with the AJALA project to spotlight the endless plight of the refugees landing in Lesvos, Dr. Hadia Aslam sat down for a chat with us during her brief visit to Dubai.
When asked about the lessons she learnt along her journey in setting up her health facility, she talks about the positivity, the tolerance, and the unity she sees within the volunteer communities. In a world where the media and the political environment teaches you to fear the unknown, Hadia exclaims that the opposite is true and now more so than ever, she notices the unity between the different communities she comes across and how they work alongside each other to alleviate the suffering of others.
Dr. Hadia Aslam’s Health Point Foundation is one of the few facilities set up to help the thousands of refugees landing in Greece everyday. Trapped for an undetermined period of time, refugees look to facilities such as the Health Point Foundation to receive a semblance of respect and dignity after being forced to flee their hometowns, forced to pay thousands to human smugglers, being robbed and abused during their journey, and then to finally arrive in a detention center with minimal shelter. Most refugees visiting the Health Point Foundation are in need of the most basic health care requirements as they don’t have adequate shelter or adequate nutrition.
She urgently calls out for able bodied volunteers to come out and help at these camps and the various organizations working with the refugees. To donate to her cause or support her projects, visit HealthPoint Foundation.
Written by: Narmeen Naser, Edited by: Dr. Hadia Aslam.