IRAQ: Children living without limbs lack support
04 Feb 2007 14:39:12 GMT
BAGHDAD, 4 February (IRIN) – Fatah Barakat, 10, will never forget getting caught in crossfire between Iraqi militia fighters and US-led forces in Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad, a year ago. A grenade that exploded near him blew off his right leg. Now, Fatah has a habit of holding onto his left leg.
“Since I lost one of my legs, I like to make sure that the other one is still here. My mother tells me that I have to stop doing this. But it is hard for me, knowing that I will never be able to play like other children and play football as I used to do every day,” Fatah said.
Fatah’s life has changed dramatically since the tragic incident. His mother has stopped him from going outside because she does not want him to get injured and he is shy about having only one leg.
“Once, I was out in shorts and my friends started to laugh at me saying that I was a useless boy and could only play dominos,” he said.
Fatah’s mother has been frantically looking for some form of assistance for her son but all she got so far is five kilos of rice from an NGO.
“When I ask NGOs or the government for a wheelchair for my child, or to pay for surgery or even an artificial leg, they just answer me by saying that people are dying every day and others getting displaced and they don’t have time to worry about just one child,” Rand Muhammad, Barakat’s mother, said.
“The problem is that hundreds of children are suffering in Iraq with the same problem but are not getting help from anyone. They have been put aside until the violence has been controlled and the displaced return to their homes. But until that happens, they may die or they could be seriously affected psychologically,” she said.
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