A doctor examines a Syrian refugee child in Halba, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Iman Moussa is a quiet child, but has a bright smile that masks the fact that the 3-year-old with rich black hair and olive skin has spent the last year undergoing chemotherapy for cancer that once rendered her immobile.Moussa is under the care of Dr. Peter Noun at the Lebanese Hospital in Beirut's Geitawi, where Moussa's family – and many other Syrian refugee families like them – have been receiving cancer treatment. Cancer treatment is difficult to access in Lebanon even at the best of times, he said.Noun estimates that a course of cancer treatment can cost around $50,000, and many children suffering from the disease rely on funding from third-party donors and NGOs to pay for it.The U.N. refugee agency will cover between 75-90 percent of the cost of hospital care, although this is largely limited to obstetric and life-threatening conditions and treatment is contingent on funding. However, UNCHR does not have the funding to cover tertiary care like cancer treatment. One of the NGOs providing tertiary care is Karma, a Lebanese organization set up to provide care, including cancer treatment, for refugee and underprivileged children in the country.
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