UAE Helping Hands: ‘I can’t handle cost of dialysis’

Noor Mohammed, 44, a father of four, discovered last year that he had kidney damage.

Noor Mohammed, who needs financial assistance for dialysis sessions. Victor Besa for The National
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ABU DHABI // Noor Mohammed is a man of few words, despite his agony and desperate need for help.

Mr Mohammed, 44, was born in the UAE. Last year, the father of four discovered that he had kidney damage, which complicated a life that he thought he had planned perfectly.

Before his illness, he had just enough money to pay for his children’s tuition fees, which amounted to Dh18,000 a year, and to cover his rent and household expenses.

“The money was barely enough but it covered our expenses,” says Mr Mohammed, whose family is from Bangladesh.

He earns about Dh4,000 a month, and in January he was told that he had to undergo dialysis three times a week so that his kidneys do not shut down.

This is an added expense that he cannot afford.

“My insurance covers most of it but I have to pay 20 per cent of my treatment a session,” Mr Mohammed says.

That means that, every month, he will have to pay Dh2,400 for dialysis

Doctors have told him that he will have to stay on dialysis until a kidney donor is found for Mr Mohammed to have a transplant.

“It’s simple,” he says. “I can’t handle the costs of my treatment because I have to take care of my family. I have to pay for my children’s tuition, rent, food and everything.”

Mr Mohammed says that he had to borrow money from friends for his most recent session.

“I can afford to pay for two more sessions of dialysis but not more than that,” he says.

“Paying for dialysis will mean that I no longer pay for my children’s school or for the roof over our heads.

“This is a headache for me and I am stuck.”

Without dialysis, Mr Mohammed cannot work.

“I get dizzy and start vomiting. My body can’t handle the high amount of ketones,” he says,

Doctors say that his kidney function is at about 10 per cent of normal.

A transplant is inevitable, but dialysis is necessary for now. Mr Mohammed, however, says he is not worried.

“I am in God’s hands. I’ve asked for help and there is nothing more I can do,” he says.

“God is there for my children if anything happens to me.”

Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber, says: “Noor needs assistance to pay for his weekly dialysis sessions.

“He is the sole provider and supporter of a wife and four children.

“Without dialysis, Noor’s life is in danger and he will no longer be able to support his family.”