Saudi Arabia Kidney patients to be treated in small towns, villages

RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman launched a campaign on Monday to create awareness among people on the hazards of renal diseases and to raise funds for the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients.

Launching the fundraising program, Prince Salman donated SR2 million on behalf of his family. Around 115 representatives from private and public sector organizations were present to pledge their cooperation to the society to promote its activities at a ceremony held at the King Fahd Cultural Center.

Prince Salman, who is also the president of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients, initiated the fundraising campaign through the three mobile operators STC, Mobily and Zain. He said funds collected would help renal patients who have reached the end stage of renal disease (ESRD) to get regular treatment through dialysis machines.

He said the partners have consented to take part in the campaign by opening their offices and outlets to distribute brochures to raise awareness of renal diseases and to collect funds on behalf of the society.

“Under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, supported by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, the concept of ‘the Kingdom of Humanity’ was established because of their magnanimity,” Prince Salman said, adding that founding of the society is part of the Kingdom’s charitable acts.

Under the society’s program, renal patients would get treatment in their towns and villages without having to travel to cities. “The donors to this noble effort demonstrated their humanitarian approach toward helping the renal patients,” the governor said, thanking them for their philanthropy.

The Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said donating money is a noble act and that two fatwas on donating both organs and cash have already been issued. He said donations would be rewarded in the hereafter.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, the society’s supervisor, said the campaign would allow the society to continue treating ESRD patients. Those who wish to become regular donors could contribute SR12 a month through their mobile phones and that there are some 191,000 people participating in the program each month. “We are aiming to increase that number to one million,” he added.

He thanked Prince Salman and all participating ministries and private organizations for their support. “This reflects their desire to serve this group of patients,” he said. “The support rendered by the partners will contribute to alleviating the suffering of kidney patients and their relatives and help them receive special care and services. Several patients require continuous treatment and we cannot stop their treatment for want of funds.”

Prince Abdul Aziz said there are 700 such patients at the moment and the society has to gear up for more services to cater to the increasing number.

Recently, the society announced the receipt of SR60 million in donations to provide free dialysis to renal failure patients.

Prince Salman signed 20 agreements with government departments and private agencies to benefit kidney patients in the country and support the charity’s programs.

According to a report issued by the Saudi Organ Transplant Center in 2008, diabetes is the main reason for 36.5 percent of renal failure cases in the Kingdom. The government has been spending more than SR1.5 billion annually on the treatment of kidney patients. It is estimated that the number of renal failure patients in the Kingdom would increase from 11,000 to 15,000 by 2015. Around 500 million people around the world suffer from kidney diseases.

Prince Salman also signed 20 agreements with government departments and private agencies to benefit kidney patients in the country and support the charity’s programs. The agreements were signed with the Youth Welfare Presidency, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, the NCB, the King Saud University, the Prince Sultan Private University, the Prince Muhammad bin Fahd University, the Human Resource Development Fund, the National Charitable Fund, Saudi Telecom Co., Mobily, Zain, the Saudi Research & Marketing Group, Yamamah Press Foundation, Al-Jazirah Press & Publishing Corporation, Al-Madinah Press & Publishing Est., Dar Al-Yaum for Press & Publishing, Enaya Charitable Society and Al-Tayyar Travel Group.

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