Salim Bin Lahej
Salim Bin Lahej, head of the health fund office at DHA Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Underprivileged dialysis patients now have a chance to avail free dialysis with the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA’s) ‘Save a Life’ initiative.

Under the recently launched initiative, up to 20 patients can get a fee dialysis package every month, said a top DHA official.

Salim Bin Lahej, head of the health fund office at DHA elaborated that the initiative included two packages for-haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. “The first package, which is for patients who require haemodialysis includes a five-day hospital admission, placing a long-term haemodialysis catheter and five haemodialysis sessions. This package also includes the medical tests required before undertaking the treatment,” said Bin Lahej. He added that the DHA aims to treat 10 patients under this package every month,

The second package targets 10 patients monthly for peritoneal dialysis. “This package includes the surgery to place the tube [catheter] into part of the abdomen, three day hospital admission and the tests required prior to the treatment,” he said.

Bin Lahej revealed that those eligible to apply for the initiative must provide the following documents: a salary certificate, valid UAE residency (tourist visas are not accepted), letter from work proving the patient does not have health insurance, an account statement and proof that the patient has not received or is receiving financial aid from another party.

“This initiative, which is being implemented in partnership with the private sector, will be open until further notice to help as many patients in need as possible. It is one of the DHA’s Health Fund’s many projects that aim to benefit those in need,” he concluded.

It is estimated that more than 550 million people worldwide are affected by chronic kidney disease, and millions die each year because they do not have access to treatment such as dialysis.

Dialysis is a way of cleaning blood when kidneys can no longer do the job. It gets rid of the body’s wastes, extra salt and water, and helps to control blood pressure.

Those who need dialysis are people who lost 85 to 90 per cent of their kidney function.

A healthy person’s kidneys filter around 120 to 150 quarts of blood each day. If the kidneys are not working correctly, waste builds up in the blood. Eventually, this can lead to coma and death.

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure followed by hypertension. Other problems that can cause kidney failure include: Autoimmune diseases and genetic diseases (such as polycystic kidney disease), to name a few.

For further information on the “Save a Life” initiative, readers can email to kaalseelee@dha.gov.ae