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    Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

    Disabled centers play noble role in Idlib province

    | 2017-08-24 01:58:34
    Disabled centers play noble role in Idlib  province


    (Zaman Al Wasl)- In a small garden inside Dar al-Arqam for the disabled in the city of Harem in the countryside Idlib, Tasnim, 5, is playing with her peers in the house to forget the sounds of explosions and shelling. Tasnim lost her hearing, was struck by a state of panic and her walk became imbalanced due to the shelling and explosions. Through her time at Dar al-Arqam, she received treatment that restored part of her hearing and balance.

    Tasnim is one of 20 children, victims of war, who suffer pathological and physical injuries and are receiving physiotherapy and psychological therapy at Dar al-Arqam. The children do not only receive treatment in the institution but also play games to help them forget the horrors of war.

    Dar Al-Arqam for the Care of People with Special Needs adopted the name of the first place that witnessed the beginnings of the Islamic da'wa in Makkah. It was established by a charity working in Sweden two years ago. Part of the center is reserved for some for children with disabilities and the second part is a nursery for children. 

    According to Dr Ahmed Maatouq, one of the supervisors in the Dar, the institution started with eight children and the number has increased to reach 20 children. “The project aims to help children with special needs, whether they are war victims, persons with congenital disabilities, disabilities as a result of accidents. The city of Harem lacks such a project, especially that Idlib province includes a large proportion of children with disabilities compared with the rest of the provinces.”

    According to Dr Maatouq, many children who lost their hearing during the war because of the sound of explosions or severe fear of panic and hallucinations. He added that many of these cases could have been saved and treated with simple actions at the time, but the siege and people’s inability to move to liberated areas exacerbated these cases and prevented them from receiving the necessary treatment.

    He revealed that there are difficult cases in the center including some impossible cases such as cases of Meningococcus, some of them open and others closed, and cases of autism which are difficult and require great effort, good medical and educational staff.

    Dar, located on the main road in the city of Harem, is composed of a kindergarten for healthy children formed of 3 rooms, and a second section for children with special needs. The section for children with special needs is smaller, two rooms. The center also includes bathrooms and play areas. The center provides a bus that picks up and takes the children home.

    Dr Maatouq pointed out that the center provides educational services, physical rehabilitation and entertainment for the children. He explained that the staff includes teachers specialized in teaching children with special needs and a speech therapist.

    Regarding the resources available, he explained that there are simple manual means of illustration such as painting, handicraft implements, drawing tools to teach the children how to choose colors or draw. He added that the center does not have extensive resources, especially in terms of shapes that would attract children’s attention.

    Dr. Maatouq works as a physical therapist offering some physical treatments for children with special needs especially cases which have muscular atrophy, paralysis or lack of movement. These treatments aim at improving these children’s general condition. He added that the treatment is not always successful or only partially successful due to the lack of medical, electrical, ultrasonic, laser and ultraviolet devices, which exceed Dar al-Arqam’s capacity and limited material potential.

    He explained that there are different devices used based on patient’s conditions. Electrical appliances, such as those used to stimulate nerves and inactive muscles and which give vitality to disabled children’s bodies. The four-pronged nerve-stimulating device, the built-in bicycle, ground rug and walker for disabled children who suffer from a delay in walk or paralysis are other devices the institution needs. Other than casts needed by children who suffer from scoliosis in their left or right foot or hand casts for those who have paralysis in their hands.

    He attributed the lack of availability of some of these devices due to the lack of electricity in Dar al-Arqam, pointing out that “There is an attempt by the Institute overseers to provide generators to enable at least small devices to be used.” (Reporting by Faris Rifai)

    Keywords:  Syria
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