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A clinic for the poor in East Tehran

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


Tehran is truly a very big city and although I have spent most of my life here, I keep discovering corners that I never knew existed before.  Recently, through an organization that I work for, I went to meet Mrs. Fatemeh Fazelzadeh who is in charge of the 14 Masoum (innocents) Clinic in the east of Tehran, at the far end of the Hemmat expressway, Serraj Ave.  I was given the right directions and luck was on my side as well and so I found it easily.  As I got there early, I had a chance to look around.  The clinic was on the first floor and I waited at the reception with other patients for my turn to inform them that I was there to meet Mrs F.



Mrs. F's father had given this land (1500 sq meters, the rest is unused) 20 years ago in his will in order to build a hospital for the poor.  It took another 12 years before this clinic came about due to shortage of funds.  The clinic covers about 300 sq meters and was built in 1998 above several shops which are leased out, and in accordance with his will, the income from these goes towards the running of the mosque next door.  In his will he had nominated Mrs. F to be in charge of this project.  I know this because I saw the vaghnameh - the will document.   Mrs. F is a small lady but most determined and strong, she reminded me of many I know.  She uses a crutch but I did not ask why.  She had spent a few years at Leeds in UK to learn English; she had been married and has a son who is at university now.



The clinic manager is a young lady who is Mrs F's niece, Miss Khani, who seemed to have a great spirit of service, patience and kindness along with efficiency - I noted this while I was waiting at the reception before I introduced myself.



They charge patients 2000 rials (US$0.25) per visit if they have insurance documents, 7000 rials (US$ 0.75) if not, and only 500 rials (US$ 0.05) for injections.  At times they supply some of the medication and equipment the patients want and make a very small profit from that.  They receive donations if someone makes a nazr (when people make a wish and if it comes true then they do what they said they do, usually a good deed).

Due to the low incomes of people in that part of town their efforts for fund raising have not been very successful and the clinic managed only to raise the equivalent of about US$ 65 for equipment they wanted.



The clinic has 13 rooms in total, including one office, one medicine room, two rooms with beds for patients to recover or receive treatment and one very busy room where patients have their injections.  There are two rooms with some dental equipment which is not used as it should be due to shortage of funds and personnel.  There is one room where the resident doctor visits the patients.  One big room is used for women only and run by a midwife who told me she sees many patients everyday. There women receive  many services: including monthly pregnancy check ups and postnatal follow up,  as well as tests and necessary help for STD (sexually transmitted diseases).  There is a separate room for mother and child health and one where small operations are performed.  There is, of course a kitchen and also a prayer room.  The whole place was very modestly furnished yet it was clean and people waited quietly for their turn to be seen by the doctor or nurse.



There is one doctor per shift and there are 2 shifts, one from 8.30 - 14.45 and the other from 14.45 -21.00.   Doctors receive a basic salary plus a percentage of the small income the clinic takes.  There are normally 2 nurses per shift especially in the afternoon which is busier. A total of seven doctors come to help during the week but many leave and new ones need to be recruited as the income they receive is so low.  I was informed that in winter they have about 100-120 patients daily and in summer there are about 80, plus a large number of people who come just for injections. I found the staff efficient and doing their tasks seriously.  Most of the patients that I saw were women.



Their short term wishes are: 

  • Set up a night clinic by expanding the ground floor and using some of the land. They have to close the upstairs for security reasons at night - this simple night clinic would be equipped with a couple of beds, desks and emergency equipment and medicines.
  • Set up their dentistry clinic and hire the necessary staff to run and operate it.
  • Purchase an audio scope - for checking hearing.
  • Purchase several blood pressure devices.
  • Purchase a sonography machine for the women's clinic.


Medium term wishes

  • Get an x-ray machine.
  • Set up a laboratory.


Long term wish

  • Turn the clinic into a hospital.


My conclusion is that their long term goal may not easily be achieved but if people will help, both their short term and medium terms goals are possible but they need people with a good will and helping hand.  Can you help them?



This is their postal address

Ressallat Square

East Farjam Ave.,

Serraj Street

Above Vafadarr Highway

Golha Street (corner of Soroush Street)

14 Masoum Clinic

Tel.   +98 (0)21 77448181

Fax.  +98 (0)21 77202868


Bank address

Darmangahe Khayrieh 14 Masoum

Sepah Bank Serraj Branch - Code No.  1685

Account No. 666/83

Bank telephone:  +98 (0)21 77371243 and +98 (0)21 77381849



... Payvand News - 2/20/07 ... --

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