Our Campaign Storyends 25 Oct 2017, 11:59 PM
Mdm Ni Ai E, is a 49 year-old grandmother who developed sesamoiditis of her thumbs. Tears of exasperation betrayed her composed exterior as she shared her predicament. Her husband, son, and grandson in a remote village in Jiangsu province in China.
Her husband is disabled from previous back injury and surgery and has difficulty caring for himself. Her 6 year-old grandson has congenital adrenal disease and is on daily steroids for treatment, and travels to Shanghai for regular specialist treatment. Her son cares for her grandson and husband alone.
Though aware of risks of exploitation, she came to Singapore in January 2017 for work because she was desperate. Her family needed money to pay the medical bills for her husband and grandson, and after much struggles they took loans from relatives and moneylenders to pay for agent fees (approximately SGD$6,000) for her securing work at a seafood factory in Singapore.
She worked to remove shells off seafood with her hands for a few months, sometimes working up to 16 hours a day. Unfortunately, just a few months into her work she developed sesamoiditis of her thumb, and the tendons are swollen.
She tried continuing work as she was anxious about the debts and bills, but her condition got worse and was forced to stop work. We hope to raise funds to pay for her family's debts and medical expenses for her grandson's treatment for this year while Ai E receives treatment and processing on her case.
About The Charity
Founded in 2006, HealthServe, is an IPC registered charity that seeks to bring healing and hope to vulnerable low-wage migrant workers in Singapore.
There are close to 1 million work permit holders in Singapore. Access to affordable healthcare can be a problem for low wage migrant workers as foreigners in Singapore do not receive subsidies for healthcare at public institutions. By law, workers are supposed to be covered for both inpatient and outpatient treatment by their employers but not all do. In addition, fear of repatriation and cultural and language barriers also contribute to migrant workers not receiving proper treatment.
The more unfortunate amongst these workers get injured at work and may end up losing their jobs and suffering loss of pay for a protracted period. The wait for their work injury compensation application to be processed and resolved can take months or years.
From a single clinic providing GP services in Geylang to meet the needs of the workers, HealthServe has expanded our range of services to the provision of GP and specialist medical services, rehabilitation and dental services, injury and salary-related casework support, social assistance, counselling and mental health programmes.
We are very much a volunteer-run organisation. Our operations are run by a small staff team and hundreds of medical and non-medical volunteers and interns.