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Mouwafak INARA Syrian refugees Arwa Damon

Five year old Mouwafak has scarring on his shoulder area. “The scar is so itchy for him,” his father explains to us. “It’s as though he is never comfortable.” Mouwafak was burned by accidentally knocking a teapot over himself when he was playing with his siblings.

The family of five share one small, cramped room, as that is the only thing they can afford as Syrian refugees in Lebanon. “In Syria I worked in retail, selling clothes,” his father reminisces. “Here in Lebanon I cannot find work. The only income we have is guarding our landlord’s cows, and that barely covers the cost of the one room we all share.”

The family borrowed money from family members in order to pay for the treatment Mouwafak needs. However, further treatment is needed – because the scarring on his shoulder has become hypertrophic. Tension around the wound has resulted in thick and red scarring, that have reduced his ability to move his shoulder.

The family were introduced to INARA by a field worker for a German NGO, who gave them a phone number. After meeting with Dr Saba at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), he said that no surgical intervention is needed for now. He will need to wear a garment around the burns to soften the scarring, and after six months doctors will examine to see whether further intervention is needed.

His father hopes that this treatment will change Mouwafak’s life. “At the moment his burns are limiting his ability to play,” he said. “Not only that, but he is also ashamed of his scar.” The family hope that their young son will soon be able to move his shoulder again, and not be constantly irritated by his itchy scars.

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