Meet Baraa, a 6-year-old from Gaza

July 12, 2012 ANERA
Gaza, Health, Health Education, Mother and Child
Baraa and her little cousin, Leen.

Baraa Ghaben will celebrate her sixth birthday at the end of August. She graduated from her Jabalia preschool in June. Baraa has two younger brothers, Jihaad and Basel, and is anxiously awaiting a new sister in a couple of months. She is hoping to have a little sister.

Baraa and her cousin Leen love to play together.

Baraa attended preschool, along with 100 other children living in the refugee camp where she lives with her family. Getting to her preschool was like an obstacle course through streets filled with trash and sewage.

Now Baraa will enter first grade and she’s excited about that. And, she’s feeling a lot better now after her ANERA helped her mom, Om Jihaad, treat her for parasites. She remembers the awful stomach pains she suffered and is determined not to get sick again. “I don’t want to have a worm inside my stomach. I’ll make sure to wash my hands before and after eating as I learned at school.”

Baraa no longer suffers from intestinal parasites after ANERA’s screening and treatment.

After Baraa’s mother discovered her daughter had a parasite infection, she gave Baraa a 20-day treatment. She had learned to identify and treat parasites after attending ANERA’s awareness sessions, funded by Johnson & Johnson and part of a campaign to combat parasites.

Now that she feels better, Baraa is happy to talk about her favorite foods: rice with milk, bread and cheese. Om Jihaad says, “Baraa’s appetite is restored and she is eating much better. And, I notice she wakes up early and is very active.”

Baraa likes to play with her two best friends, Sahar and Israa. They borrow her mom’s clothes and pretend they’re mothers. Her two-year-old cousin Leen, who lives in her family home, acts as their baby. Baraa can’t wait for a sister to play with them. But she also loves her dolls and dreams of having a huge doll with colorful dresses.

Om Jihaad is so pleased with the results of the treatment that she wants to have her sons tested too. “It delights me to see Baraa vigorous again. It means the world to me to see my children all healthy.”

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