Lipi Begum, 62, Bangladesh

"When I took my first steps after being bedridden for months it felt like someone had put my heart back together. When I was trapped in my bed my heart felt like it was broken. The HelpAge health centre put me back together and made me whole again," says 62-year-old Lipi from Bangladesh.

Lipi received free healthcare at a HelpAge clinic as she couldn't afford to see a doctor.

(c) Mayur Paul/HelpAge International

Lipi received free healthcare at a HelpAge clinic as she couldn't afford to see a doctor.

"My husband passed away last year. I have two grandchildren that live with me along with their parents.

"A typical day for me involves waking up very early and getting my granddaughter ready for school. After that I start cleaning and cooking so my children can go to work. I don't get to rest even for one minute as I have to take care of my family.

The HelpAge clinic

"I have some aches and pains. HelpAge’s Affiliate Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC), taught me some exercises that we practise in our older people’s group to help with the pain.

"HelpAge funds a health clinic which is about a mile away from here where older women like me get free treatment and medicines. I normally walk there but if I am really ill I need to take a rickshaw.

"The clinic is very good, when there are crowds they give priority to older women who are less able to stand and wait. Of course as older people we also understand that we should not get priority all the time. If there is an emergency case they are treated first regardless of age. The best part about the clinic is that the doctor is a woman herself so she understands my problems.

Free medicine and treatment

"A week ago I went to the doctor for my back pain. She gave me vitamins and calcium tablets all for a small fee of BDT 10 ($US 0.13)!

"Eight years ago before HelpAge came and helped set up the clinic through their Affiliate, we had nowhere to go for our health problems. I was bedridden for months but no one took me to the hospital because of the costs involved.

"Then one day after the clinic was established a lady from HelpAge’s Affiliate came to our house. She told us about the clinic and how they would treat me for free. She even got me an admission card so that I could get free medicines for my treatment. Slowly, I started to get better.

Working and saving again

"After I got better I was able to get a job in a factory. I earned BDT 5,000 ($US 65) which I could save for family expenses. Altogether I saved enough to pay for my daughter’s wedding. I felt so proud.

"I pray every day for the people that donate money to organisations like HelpAge so that they can set up more places like this health clinic.

"Without the help from these people we would not have medicines. I would still be broken. A simple thank you is not enough for the people who give money, as what they do is immeasurable. I hope they know what their support means."

How you can help

Please donate now to help us help more people like Lipi to regain their health and get back to work. 

"I pray every day for the people that donate money to organisations like HelpAge so they can set up more places like this health clinic."

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