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UAE-based doctor to the aid of kidney patients in Kerala.

Summary: DUBAI - Dr K. P. Hussain, social worker based in the UAE, on Wednesday announced his plans to donate kidney dialysis machines to 14 government hospitals in the state of Kerala in India.

DUBAI - Dr K. P. Hussain, social worker based in the UAE, on Wednesday announced his plans to donate kidney dialysis machines to 14 government hospitals in the state of Kerala in India.

After 20 years of working in Dubai, Dr Hussain has witnessed a severe lack of renal healthcare for those in lower income brackets in the UAE as well as in his home state of Kerala.

"Kidney dialysis machines are not available in many of the districts in Kerala. Day by day, its need is increasing drastically. In India, it costs around Rs 900 to Rs1,600 per dialysis, which automatically rules out many who can't afford treatment," Dr Hussain said.

The Rs10-million donation has been specifically targeted for use at government hospitals frequented by people who can not afford high priced private healthcare. The treatments are to be made free of charge for those who need it. "Diseases don't discriminate. Kidney failure can happen to anyone with diabetes or hypertension. Those who cannot foot the bill on their own deserve to live just as much as someone who can afford treatment," Dr Hussain told Khaleej Times.

According to him, only 2 per cent of those suffering from kidney failure in Kerala are able to afford treatment in the form of dialysis, while an even smaller subset of about 5 per cent of this group are lucky enough to get kidney transplants. Not only are transplants highly invasive, but they are well known for having long waiting lists, and finding the right match could take years.

While working at various clinics in Dubai, Dr Hussain decided to start a healthcare company that would be able to subsidise the cost of dialysis for UAE residents through their insurance policies. His company, Fathima Healthcare Group, managed to reduce the cost of dialysis from Dh3,000 to Dh700 when average salaries in the country were generally low and alternative options for renal failure did not exist.

This project is the first of its kind, and can stand to benefit millions of patients in the long run. Working alongside Dr Hussain are Kerala leaders like Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Health Minister Adoor Prakash and NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites Affairs) Minister K. C. Joseph. Ernakulam District Hospital will be the first place to inaugurate the dialysis machine, on July 24.

A non-governmental organisation committee will be formed to look after the day-to-day activities of this programme. Doubling as the chairman of the United Indian Expatriates Council, Dr Hussain has encouraged all foreign Indian organisations to join this committee, overseeing 14 districts of Kerala. "We have approached the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai with our proposal as well. Those in the UAE who are in dire need of treatment can be referred to the programme's management committee, and ideally can be treated at the district hospitals," Dr Hussain added.

praseeda@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 20, 2011
Words:530
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