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Amputations, permanent disabilities illustrate war’s human toll

THE WILL TO LIVE: Mohammed Sawan, a fighter with the […]

25 January 2015


THE WILL TO LIVE: Mohammed Sawan, a fighter with the rebel Liwa a-Tawheed brigade in Aleppo province, fled to Antakia after losing his right arm to a regime shell during a firefight, where he resorted to collecting plastic in his handcart to make ends meet, reported pro-opposition al-Etihad Press.

“I went around to stores searching for work, they told me, ‘my son, guys with two hands don’t work and you want to?’” Sawan, who appears in the picture above, said in an interview with al-Etihad’s correspondent.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights was able to document 120,000 cases of Syrians suffering amputation and permanent disabilities spanning from the beginning of the war to last November, according to a report released in late 2014. The real number of amputees and permanently disabled is likely higher.

“Between every 8 injured there is one amputee” in Damascus’ rebel-held Ghouta suburbs, Abu Adnan, the pseudonym of the head of media relations of the pro-opposition Unified Medical Bureau in Douma, told Syria Direct in November.

Exacerbating the prevalence of such life-altering wounds is the Syrian people’s lack of experience in dealing with the disabled, Dr. Amer, head of a medical center in Jordan, told Syria Direct in November.

“The Syrian people need sessions to train and prepare them to deal with the disabled because it’s a very sensitive issue and the problem lies in a lack of knowledge about how to deal with permanent disabilities,” he said.

-January 25, 2015

-Photo courtesy of Al-Etihad Press

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