Help Omar Faisal
This is six-year-old Omar Faisal. He has just recovered from a bout of pneumonia in hospital. And today, June 20, World Refugee Day, he is returning to the plastic and bamboo home he shares with his parents and siblings in one of the world’s largest refugee camps – the Rohingya camps of Bangladesh. He is very happy as you can see from his photograph.
Omar has a big challenge in front of him. Children with his condition – hydrocephaly – do not fare well if untreated. The procedure is reasonably straightforward if performed early in the child’s development. Thankfully, Omar can still talk (he talks a lot!) and still has his sight.
In Myanmar, there was no opportunity for Omar to seek medical help. His parents even traveled to Bangladesh when he was just one year old but were thwarted by the large sum of money demanded of them by the hospital.
Now Omar and his family are refugees in Bangladesh after the Rohingya crisis of August 2017. It took them 15 days to come to Bangladesh. The long trek is difficult enough without having to carry a child who is unable to walk. At one stage, on the 10th day of their arduous walk, when Omar and his family could hear gunfire all around them, Omar asked his dad to leave him behind so that he didn’t jeopardize everyone in his family. For a six-year-old, he is very acutely aware of his context and circumstances.
A neurosurgeon in Dhaka, in consultation with experts abroad, believes Omar’s health prospects can be improved by surgical intervention. If he is left untreated his disabilities will increase and he will go blind. Nevertheless, there are risks, not least the problematic environment in the camps and lack of access to good nutrition.
Today we are launching a campaign to fund hospital costs for his shunt surgery and post-operative care. Our costs are substantially reduced as the 5 doctors involved are very kindly providing their time and skills free of charge.
Omar is a vivacious little boy. In the hospital, he was doted upon by all and sundry because of his witty and precocious comments. In hospital, he also discovered that he likes chocolate a lot!
Please consider helping Omar Faisal. He has been badly let down so far, so is our opportunity to help put things right. The link to donate is here: