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Everyone abandoned him and he only leaves his house at night.. The tree man in Iraq tells his story

A messenger wishes to live his life like the rest of the youth, to go out to the street without having to hide his face and hands, and for society to view him as a normal human being, away from the look of sympathy or fear of transmitting infection to them.

Maysan- Young Rasul Hashem is living in very difficult psychological conditions, in his mid-twenties, due to the heavy accumulations left by the effects of his rare disease known as “Tree Man” syndrome, after he was infected nearly 9 years ago.

Hashem is a resident of the city of Al-Amarah, the largest city in Maysan Governorate, southeast of the capital, Baghdad. He suffered from one of the rarest skin diseases in the world, and is currently the only patient in Iraq, facing the consequences of the disease that painted its bumps and sprouts on his skinny body, without health care or government financials.

Hashem (or what is known as the tree man) told Al Jazeera Net, “I was ill about 9 years ago, and I suffered from buds that began to grow in different parts of my body, especially in both my hands, and because of my difficult financial situation, I was not able to see doctors until after a long time, Without one of the benefactors, I would not have had the opportunity to review and diagnose the situation.”

Al-Saadi: There is no cure for the disease, and its treatment is limited to skin restoration in addition to psychological support (Al-Jazeera)

The cause of the disease

Tree man disease, a rare genetic skin disease, is caused by certain types of viruses called the human papillomavirus (HPVs), and its name is derived from the shape that the body’s organs take, which at some point become like tree trunks. A treatment for the disease, and its treatment is limited to skin restoration only, in addition to psychological support,” dermatologist Radhi Al-Saadi told Al Jazeera Net.

Al-Saadi added, “There are no specialized health centers to take care of such cases in the city due to the scarcity of the disease. As for the treatment that is prescribed for the most part, it depends on strengthening the body’s immunity, in addition to obliging the patient to take other precautions, including not being exposed to sunlight, because it may aggravate the condition and transform it.” to skin cancer.

Rasoul Hashem (the tree man), hides his face and body well before receiving anyone, and is keen not to show any injured part ashamed of him. He also refuses to photograph and appear on the media and does not leave his house except at night, which increased his psychological suffering.

The effects of the disease on the hands of the Messenger (Al-Jazeera)

Hashem told Al Jazeera Net, “I do not have the money to support myself or buy the medicine that the doctors prescribed to me, and if some friends had not communicated and provided their help, I would have been among the forgotten, and I did not receive financial support, such as being included in social care programs in the governorate.”

The loneliness and isolation that Hashem lived through was one of his biggest tragedies, as he lost his parents at an early age, his sisters got married and he moved away from his brothers, who were no better financially than him.

Hashem lives alone in a prefabricated house that was designated for housing the displaced to the governorate, and the local government turned it into a program to support and housing the needy, including Hashem, after the displaced returned to their cities.

Hashem (the tree man) depends for his meals on ready-made food, and he often buys it from the nearby shops at night, because he is not able to cook, and sometimes he remains without food because he does not have money.

Hashem told Al Jazeera Net, “I cannot work because of my critical situation, and my inability to hold things for the buds to grow in my hands, and I miss those who help me from my family and brothers. I am an orphan of parents and my brothers live in difficult financial conditions, and sometimes I do not find food so I stay hungry.”

Rasoul Hashem cannot work because of his critical situation (Al-Jazeera)

The local government in the province learned about Hashem’s situation by chance, but it has not provided him with any help or any care so far.

Ismail Thamer, director of the Citizens’ Affairs Office in Maysan, told Al Jazeera Net, “Several years ago, a person came to apply for housing in the host housing program in the vacant IDP camp because he did not have a place to shelter him, but his body raised eyebrows and when we asked about the reason, he revealed his condition and it turned out that he was the messenger of Hashem and taught us. He was infected with the tree man disease, so we provided him with housing.”

Thamer added, “We set an appointment for him to meet and ask the local government to pay a social welfare salary, and submit a request to do so, but unfortunately he did not attend because of his feeling of shame. that are assigned to the needy.

From a humanitarian point of view, many activists in the province blamed the local authorities for Hashem’s poor psychological condition, refusing any justification for his lack of financial and health care, as it is the only case in Iraq in general and the province in particular.

Al-Taie presented a messenger to a specialized medical team and blamed the authorities for abandoning him (Al-Jazeera)

individual support

“I knew Rasul Hashem about 7 years ago, and I accompanied him on a medical trip to the capital, Baghdad, and showed him to a specialized medical team. We also performed a plastic surgery for him to remove some of the buds that grew on his face and provide him with treatment, and I stayed in contact with him in order to provide most of his needs.” Activist Abbas Al-Tai says to Al-Jazeera Net.

Al-Taie added, “I do not see any convincing justification for the government to abandon its responsibility towards Hashem, and if he does not attend to submit the application in person, it is possible for government or health committees to reach out to take care of him, as he is the rarest case of illness in the country.”

Hashem (the tree man) praises the positions of some of the people of the province with him, including the activist Abbas Al-Tai, and other activists and citizens who are aware of his condition.

Hashem tells Al Jazeera Net, “I hope to live my life like other young people, go out into the street without having to hide my face and hands, and that society looks at me as a normal person, away from a look of sympathy or fear of transmitting infection to them.”

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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