Khaled is 23, and a taxi driver. He isn’t married but lives with his family. At the clinic in Dura, he told us:

“I’ve had a bad cough for a while and it would not go away, but kept getting more severe. I have been coughing up heavy stuff [mucus] and have a fever. As a taxi driver, it is very difficult for me if I am sick; if I don’t work, I don’t eat. I’d delayed coming to the clinic because I hoped it would clear up by itself, but it’s only got worse. Yesterday I had a temperature of 39.5⁰c and was finding it hard to breathe as my chest got so tight. That scared me, so today I am here.”

Khaled was diagnosed with bronchitis, though he had to go on to the city hospital for a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia. While he waited, doctors at the clinic provided a saline nebuliser mask to help relax his bronchial muscles and open his airways – in order to help him to breathe easier. He was also given an analgesic to help with the fever, and advice about not smoking shisha [water pipe]. When the cause of symptoms was confirmed, the next step was to prescribe an antibiotic and to discharge Khaled with an inhaler. 

He told us: “I come to this clinic because the quality of services is good. I know I will always find a doctor here; that’s not always the case elsewhere. Sometimes you go to a clinic, and they can’t do anything to help you. Here, if they don’t have the medicines available, they will tell me what I need and I will try to find it outside, [though] that’s not always possible.”