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Patients’ Fund celebrates 40 years of helping the poor

KUWAIT: Out of sheer empathy towards poor patients’ financial and social ailments, alongside the physical pain, a group of Kuwaiti doctors had made it their mission to put a smile on the faces of those bed-ridden through the establishment of the Patients Helping Fund Society in 1979. “The Fund is a bright page in the books of Kuwait’s charitable history; helping pauper and poor patients for the last 40 years; tens of thousands of them,” said Dr Mohammad Al-Sharhan, the Fund’s Board Chairman, in an interview on the occasion of the Fund’s 40th inception anniversary. “More than 100,000 patients benefited from the Fund; which so far handed aid worth KD 90 million ($297 million),” Dr Sharhan noted, pointing out that the Fund was the first of its kind in the Gulf region in providing quite expensive medication, especially for cancer, hepatitis and MS patients.

The Fund does not limit itself to helping Kuwaitis only, as there is a specialized sub-committee tasked with reviewing cases and medical files of residents with adequate paperwork, and determining whether they meet the Fund’s help-providing criteria, he said. As for activities outside Kuwait, Dr Sharhan said the Fund’s ‘Foreign Committee’ plays a pivotal role in showcasing Kuwait’s humane and civilized facade through providing humanitarian/medical aid and urgent emergency assistance to the most vulnerable in the world. “Thus far, more than 35,000 cancer, heart and hepatitis patients were reached out for in many countries,” he noted.

Through the ‘eye camps’ project, the Fund managed to treat; and even help, some 10,000 people regain partial or full vision, especially in the Basin of Africa’s Niger, Chad, Djibouti, Sudan and Egypt, in addition to the dialysis project in Bangladesh, elaborated Dr Sharhan. Other medical-related projects and activities were also supported in Yemen, Somalia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lauding the Fund’s Women’s Committee, Dr Sharhan owed the establishment of such division to the great and vital value woman has within society. Established in 1984, the all-female staff headed by Khadija Abdulsamad, now supervises 17 children’s clubs to aid poor patients and lend a helping hand to them regardless of nationality or belief. – KUNA

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