Dr. Sadiq Moyhuddin, Talat Moyhuddin changing lives with a gift from St. Louis to Lahore

9:59 PM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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By Farrah Fazal

LAHORE, Pakistan (KSDK) - She walked through the doors and sat down, patiently waiting for the doctor to call her mother's name.

"Next," said the man at the desk, counting people in the waiting room on one hand, and counting on enough medicines for the doctor to deliver on the other.

In the waiting room were the faces of extreme poverty. Children craving care, mothers needing remedy, fathers bearing the burden. Somehow, hope floats every day the Moyhuddin Charitable Clinic open its doors in Nishat Colony, Lahore, Pakistan.

READ PART 1: KSDK reporter shares stories from Pakistan trip

The clinic is in the middle of a long, lonely street, surrounded by slums and suffering.

"Poor people, they come from the villages in the area," said the lady doctor to me. Need comes marching through her door every day she comes here.

"Water problems, sanitation problems, water is not really good. They have bad water and they drink it," she said.

Her cure comes with compassion as she tells a woman covered from head to toe in a black burqa, to take the high blood pressure medicine she's going to give her. She tells a mother to make sure she brings her child dehydrated child to the clinic several times that week. He breathes the air saving oxygen plugged into an outlet, and sitting on a desk in the other room.

The cost of the care is ten cents if patients can afford it. It's free if they can't. The check to run it comes from thousands of miles away, from a living room, in a suburb in St. Louis.

"We both come from that country," said Talat Moyhuddin.

"My parents insisted I should return my knowledge and my know-how, in their memory we started this clinic in 1994," said her husband, Dr. Sadiq Moyhuddin. He is an internal medicine doctor in Alton, Illinois. The Moyhuddins immigrated to the St. Louis area 30 years ago. St. Louis is home.

"We are what that country has brought us to be," said Talat.

They can't forget where they've come from and why they must give back.

"Our aim was to serve an area where the people need the help the most," she said.

They spend close to $2,000 every month to keep their clinic in Lahore going. Every penny, they said, comes from their pocket.

Sometimes, they buy the medicine and take them to Pakistan a few times a year. Sometimes they send the money for this doctor to buy the pills and prescriptions. Seventy-five to 80 people walk through the doors.

"Considering our population, it's not even a drop in the bucket, "said Talat.

Ten million people live in Lahore. It's the 25th most crowded city in the world. Seventy percent of Pakistanis live in extreme poverty. They don't have water or electricity for more than a few hours a day.

"The help has to be brought to them. These people don't have means to reach big cities or centers," she said. The United States sent Pakistan $63 millionlast year for basic health services according to USAid.

"Somehow, it's not reaching the people which its intended for. Somewhere within the system, its disappearing," said Talat.

She said the common man knows the word America, he recognizes the drones, and the wars, but "he and his family don't see the food coming from America, they don't see the blankets," said Talat.

The Moyhuddins feel an obligation as Americans to change the hearts, the minds of people in their small piece of Pakistan.

"If it doesn't come to you, it doesn't exist for you. Simple as that," she said.

Simple acts of kindness don't need wings to fly thousands of miles. The Moyhuddins believe you can help where you are.

"Wherever people need help, those people who are in capacity should move and be motivated to help out. It doesn't have to be overseas or another state, it could be within Ballwin, within St. Louis, within East St. Louis," said Talat.

The Moyhuddins want to open 100 more clinics across Pakistan in neighborhoods like Nishat Colony.

They've already talked to the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. They told him clinics like theirs could be the model for the U.S. to get medical care to the people who need it the most.

Until they can grow, they'll keep the doors open, they'll let the light stream in from the narrow streets.

They'll let hope float.


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