INARA launches new project to help refugee children with orthopedic conditions

We are launching a new, time-limited project to help refugee children from Syria with clubfoot and developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH).

Filling the gaps

INARA was founded by Arwa Damon to work with children who have been affected by conflict and have life-altering or life-threatening injuries or illnesses. She created the organization to address severe gaps that existed in medical provision for refugee children.

One such gap is the treatment for clubfoot and DDH. Children with such conditions in Syria would have been able to access free or discounted treatment. However, due to the war they are now unable to do so. There are currently no humanitarian organizations within Lebanon that provide treatment for such orthopedic conditions regularly. The medical treatment needed is lengthy and expensive, and the majority of the refugee population in Lebanon would not be able to afford such treatment.

Both of these conditions cause children extreme pain, and mean they struggle to walk. The impact it has on their life is severe - and often means that they withdraw from social interactions for fear of being stared at or bullied by their peers.

You can read about INARA's first orthopedic case here.

How this will happen

We have been working hard to build contacts at the American University of Beirut Medical Center who would be able to work at discounted rates to help provide children with such conditions the treatment they so desperately need.

Funding for this project has been secured from UNICEF and other donors and we hope that with this money we will be able to enable mobility for approximately 15 children.

Our criteria

Treatment for both clubfoot and DDH is complicated, expensive, and takes a long time. To ensure that we can help as many people as possible with its limited funding, we have had to set strict criteria when it comes to which children we can treat.

We will be taking on cases of children with clubfoot from birth to one year of age. With DDH cases, we will only be providing treatment to children from birth to 17 months.

Arwa Damon, Co-Founder and President of INARA, said: “For me working as a journalist in the warzone, simply covering the news wasn’t enough. The gaps in medical provision in the warzone became so glaring that I felt that I had to act; I had to do something. INARA was created to respond to these gaps - and today, announcing our project with children with clubfoot and DDH is our response to such gaps.

“We have to remember that this project is small. We only have a limited amount of money and we can’t help every single child with orthopedic deformities that lives as a refugee in Lebanon - no matter how much we want to.

“In helping a select number of children we can prevent debilitating disabilities that would prevent them from achieving their hopes and dreams. We can remind them and their families that people out there care, and we can help to change their narratives from one of misery and hopelessness to one of happiness and hope for the future.”