JRS Healthcare Workers in the Community
07 October 2018

JRS Healthcare Worker, Amita, assists Martin.

Martin, now 20 years old, came to South Africa in 2007 as a child with his mother. He had a dream of becoming a medical doctor. One morning, he woke up to go bath and noticed an unusual growth on his face. He thought it would fade, but as days passed the growths affected his whole body and continued to grow around his head, giving him headaches. In 2015,he visited Hillbrow Community Health Centre to be examined, but they did not understand his condition and gave him the wrong medication which affected his brain and gave him sleepless nights.

Later that year, Martin was referred to Johannesburg Hospital. His experience at the Johannesburg Hospital wasn't an easy one. The doctors refused to administer him, because the photo on his identification document was from his childhood and they could not recognize if it was really him. He was told to present an alternative identification, which he did not have. Eventually, Martin met with the Director of the hospital and was examined. He was referred to a dermatologist. In 2017, Martin was diagnosed with cancer. .Devastated by the news, Martin felt hopeless. He had no one to help him, as his mother had left to pursue her studies. Martin dropped out of school because of his condition. After that, someone referred him to Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an international organization that accompanies, serves, and advocates for refugees and asylum seekers, with a particular focus in healthcare.

JRS Community Healthcare workers visit Martin twice a week to clean his wounds, apply prescription medicine to over his scalp, help him take his medicine, and check his sugar levels and blood pressure. As Martin cannot work due to his condition, JRS supports him financially in providing for his rent, food, perscriptions, and transportation to medical appointments. There have been substantial improvements in Martin’s health thanks to the help of JRS’ home-based health care program.

Press Contact Information
Mr. Tim Smith
+27 11 618 3404