Gaza: Diseases and poverty threaten the life of infant Ru’aa

Child Ru'aa

The home of Adel al-Hamarna reveals a suffering of different type; Adel suffers from poverty and siege after the arrival of his youngest child Ru’aa who is suffering from chronic diseases and whose life is at risk of death.
The 13-month old Ru’aa suffers from liver damage, heart failure, gallbladder blockage, and an inherited disorder called Alagille Syndrome, which causes persistent jaundice, itching, fatty deposits in the skin, and stunted growth and development during early childhood.
The lack of treatment threatens the lives of thousands of patients suffering from chronic diseases in the Gaza Strip after it became an isolated area following intensifying the siege in the past four years with the Palestinian Authority government refusing to supply medicine nor cover treatment for those in need.
Double suffering

The sunrays sneak out of the cracks in the roof and walls of the house of al-Hamarna with winter rains seen on the walls and furniture of the house, as the father is unable to feed his children or provide medicine for his youngest child not to mention maintaining his house.
“My daughter’s health is deteriorating. She lives on milk and medicine. We are now unable to pay for her treatment nor are we able to transfer her for treatment at Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem. It is true that she is suffering, but I am sad because she suffers from a skin problem that destroys her skin, and doctors said only God knows what might happen to her in the future,” says the mother of the child.
She discovered the deterioration in her daughter’s heath after her birth and following her visit to a pediatrician who told her to get urgent treatment outside the hospitals of the Gaza Strip.
Doctors point out that the case of Ru’aa is a rare one, often caused by a genetic factor due to marriages among relatives, but this is not the case of Ru’aa.
Adel’s children hover in his small two-room house covered by a tin-roof that does not protect them from cold winters or hot summers.
Medical reports
The family keeps a big amount of medical papers and reports that have accumulated over the past year, revealing several diseases and medicines that the family cannot afford to buy.
Adel Al-Hamarna, the father of the child, said: “Life was going on in a stable way, but the birth of my youngest daughter changed my life and I became unable to help her.”
“I work as a watch guard for a very small amount of money. I need a monthly amount of money for her treatment and I have accumulated debts in several pharmacies,” he says.
Adel toured all charities and relief organizations in order to obtain in-kind or cash assistance for treatment expenses as well as the cost of traveling to Makassed Hospital to no avail.
Mahmoud, 16, the eldest son of Adel, confirms that his younger sister is crying all night. Mahmoud watches her cry, unable to do anything.
The family of Ru’aa hopes that their daughter will be able to return to the occupied city of Jerusalem to complete her treatment. Meanwhile, the expenses of the treatment will be a daily dilemma for the father.

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