Wheelchairs and hearing aides for disabled kids

1-of-14 disabled children to receive a new wheelchair and hearing aide, made possible by Veterans Rebuilding Life and the Iraqi Institution for Development. Click the image to view more photos.

UNICEF estimates 21 million children with disabilities live in the Middle East and North Africa. One in six children in Iraq suffer injures caused by violence, including gunshots, shrapnel and explosives, compared with one in 50 childhood injuries worldwide, according to Reuters.

Disabled children are a particularly vulnerable group in Iraq. Not only have decades of conflict resulted in a high number of children with disabilities, Iraq also suffers from limited resources to support disabled children access education and enjoy a sense of normalcy in their lives.

A case study at Baghdad’s Central Hospital for Children, (to which cerebral palsy cases from across Iraq are referred) doctors reported unprecedented numbers of children diagnosed with the disease annually.

The study attributed this to the decline in obstetric and neonatal services in Iraq over the last two decades resulting in increasing numbers of children with birth defects.

VRL’s partner, the Iraqi Institution for Development (IID) appealed on behalf of 14 disabled children living in Mosul, a city devastated by decades of war that left the local population without basic medical needs.

The 14 children were in need of wheelchairs and hearing aides, a total cost of $3,000. Within a week, Veterans Rebuilding Life successfully raised the necessary funds for IID to secure the wheelchairs and hearing aids, and deliver them to the smiling children seen in the accompanying photos.