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Mohammed Ewaida
Mohammed Ewaida

A team comprising a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a psychologist has arrived to an old house in a very condensed popular alley in Al-Zaitoon neighborhood of Gaza city. There, they have met the 7-year old male, Mohammed Ewaida, who lives with his family in very poor conditions. The father is jobless, the house is too small, the bathroom is located underground and there is not enough fresh air.

Mohammed has a congenital malformation of the vertebral column known as Spina Bifida located in the thorax; there is complete herination of the spinal cord at this level, and he has also other problems associated with this deformity such as hydrocephalus, urine and bowel incontinence, and paralysis of the lower limbs as a direct result of the discontinuity of the spinal cord. Mohammed has had two medical operations; first to close the wound of the spine and the second is V-P shunt which is a tube evacuating the excess cerebrospinal fluid from the skull into the stomach to decrease the pressure on the brain. On the other hand, according to the psychologist reports, Mohammed’s emotional status is bad because his family ignores him in particular that he has 5 brothers and sisters who need family care and help too.

According to the observations of PSCF team, Mohammed suffers from several problems such as easy fatigue, deformity in the lower limb and trunk, low immunity, pressure sores, phobia, weakened upper limb, inability to manipulate the wheelchair and family ignorance. The treatment plan targeted three main constituents, first the child then the family and finally the house. For the child, the treatment plan concentrated at his personal abilities such as learning how to use the wheelchair, increasing endurance and the muscle power of the upper limb, passive exercise to the lower limb. So far, Mohammed has received 10 sessions of physiotherapy, 6 sessions of occupational therapy and 8 sessions of psychotherapy. Meanwhile, PSCF team gave a special attention to following up the medical status of the child. The health conditions of Mohammed are improving.

At the family level, awareness and advice were very important. The physiotherapist, and occupational therapist assisted the parents in learning how to take care of their child, how to increase the child’s independence in using the wheelchair to prevent complications, how to take care of bed sores in parallel with improving the child's skills to decrease the burden on the family.  Besides, the psychologist implemented several awareness sessions on disability issues which were successful in the sense that the family was convinced to get her child back to school.