These cases are drawn from CCRIHC’s medical charts and patients experience. The Names of the victims and other identifying information appearing in our media has been changed to protect them from further harm. Many of them have suffered horribly on treacherous their refugee journeys and their lives may be still in danger.
Sonia, her husband, and their 18 month old son arrived in Ontario from Cameroon, as permanent residents. Sonia was 5 months pregnant when they arrived. Like all new Canadians that Ontario accepts, the family had to wait 3 months for OHIP.
Three weeks after arriving, Sonia became severely ill. She went to the Emergency Department with a high fever where she was diagnosed with malaria. Sonia had to pay over $1000 in the ED for care. She could not afford the specialist follow up treatment. A week later her son became ill with the same disease. They took him to Sick Kids and now had incurred a bill for several thousand dollars to prove it. At this point, they had been in Ontario for only 5 weeks.
An infectious disease specialist was contacted, who made “house calls” to our clinic at no cost to Sonia. We provided her and her family with further care and resources. Now, they are established and working in Canada today.