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Dr. Saleema Rehman: Pioneer Female Afghan Refugee & Role Model, Part 2 of 2

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She studied hard, completed all of the required courses in medicine and surgery, and became a doctor. “I never gave up. I continued my services, and I was happy to find that opportunity to serve locals as well as refugees when everyone was going through a difficult situation, a pandemic. There was a lot of fear and anxiety among people. But I remained very calm, and I was working on the front line to save lives because this was the time to give back to the host country where I was living as a refugee. And I was able to prove that I can do something, and I can give back to my community where I’m living. So, I was very enthusiastic and motivated to treat people in times of need.”

Dr. Rehman’s medical specialty is assisting pregnant women, but she offers health care to everyone – her fellow refugees and the local Pakistani population. And when her patients cannot afford to pay, she gives them the medications they need without charging them.

Since opening her clinic in June 2021, Dr. Rehman’s reputation has spread beyond Attock, all the way to Afghanistan. Women there have learned that they can call her for a consultation. “When they need any sort of medical assistance or advice, they contact me. Because in Afghanistan, there is a lack of doctors, especially the gynecologist. They can’t get treatment from their own city. So, they communicate with me, you know, telephone, and then get advice, further advice. Even some of the patients also come from Afghanistan to get treatment from me. And I am very fortunate to help them in time of need.”

“When I go to my previous school, I always meet young girls, and I encourage them to study more and to not stop here.” “So, I always encourage them to not stop here and to continue studying and working hard till they achieve their dream.” The students that Dr. Rehman talks to convey her advice to their parents. Gradually, people comprehend that education benefits everyone, not only girls. It empowers refugees with knowledge and skills for living more productive and independent lives.

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