Sunday, December 28, 2008

Palestinian children get a helping hand

"I don't know what I want to be in the future. There are no opportunities in Khalil, (West Bank)," said 10 year old Islam Samouh, who came to Dubai to get fitted with a prosthetic limb.

He lost his right arm following an electric shock while trying to place a Palestinian flag on the roof of his house.

Due to political restrictions, the environment these underprivileged children are forced to live in, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is unsafe.

Poorly maintained construction sites and hanging electric wires in households cause misdiagnosed illnesses and accidents.

One such case is Yousuf Mahmoud, an 11 year old child who lost his right foot when a heavy piece of iron fell on it while he was playing at a construction site in Khalil, West Bank.

Poor diagnosis

According to his mother, Ebtisam Asfoor, his medical condition was wrongly diagnosed. The doctor said her son had only a fracture but later on they found out he also had three sliced veins, leading to three days of internal bleeding and excruciating pain.

The boy's mother finally demanded that the doctors open the cast, they found his foot completely black from gangrene.

Not only was his foot then amputated, but the boy was given a poorly fitting prosthetic limb causing his right knee to dislocate, said Islam while showing his injuries to a room of journalists.

"I am confident I will get the right treatment and limb in Dubai as we heard of the great facilities here. I already feel important and welcomed," said Islam.

The Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) - based in Ramallah - in coordination with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment are arranging for the treatment of seven children from the West Bank and another eight from the Gaza strip.

The expenses of their stay in Dubai will be completely covered by the Charity.

Most of these children are living in poor conditions and survive on aid handouts, as it is difficult to get steady job in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A report, published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), found the highest unemployment rate was among the young people of the Palestinian population.

In 2006, PCBS revealed that the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is 30.33 per cent and 20.3 per cent in West Bank.

Rolla Fataitih lost her left foot due to a childhood illness and the lack of proper medical care in her area, according to her mother.

There are six children in her family living off aid, since her husband is unemployed - a common situation in the Palestinian territories.

"I would love to take this opportunity to sincerely thank His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for giving us the chance to walk normally again and become active members in the society," said Rolla.

The emotional trauma of dealing with a missing limb has significantly impacted on both children's academic and social interaction, said the children's mothers with one parent adding, "It is difficult to see your child suffering from within and you can't do anything about it. It is becoming common to see such incidents in the West Bank."

Dubai is still expecting the arrival of 15 additional Palestinian children within a month, eight are expected to arrive from the Gaza Strip next week.


Source : http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Society/10270326.html


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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