Dubai: Saudi Arabia has witnessed a significant rise in kidney failure patients, with figures surpassing 27,000 by the end of last year, marking an annual increase rate of up to 9 per cent.
Abdullah Al Deghaither, CEO of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charity Association for Kidney Failure Patients (Kellana), highlighted the escalating situation and the society’s comprehensive response to address the growing health crisis.
Kellana has been at the forefront of offering critical support to kidney failure patients through various initiatives, including a notable “kidney transplant programme for patients in need.”
This initiative has helped approximately 184 beneficiaries since its inception, significantly enhancing their survival rates, reducing psychological stress, providing dietary freedom, and minimising hospital visits.
Al Deghaither also emphasised that the association spares no effort to provide essential medical equipment, medications, and supplies to those battling kidney failure. Furthermore, Kellana promotes and supports organ donation programmes, scientific research, and awareness campaigns related to kidney diseases and transplantation.
One of the key services offered by the society is the “hemodialysis care programme,” which delivers 3 to 4 weekly hemodialysis sessions to needy patients. This programme extends beyond medical treatment to include basic medications, surgical interventions, emergency care, and even transportation allowances, currently benefiting over 500 individuals.
Addressing the logistical needs of kidney transplants, Al Deghaither said that the association has initiated a programme to oversee the post-transplant care and medication for 123 beneficiaries. This initiative ensures that dialysis machines, crucial for patient care, are readily available in health ministry-affiliated hospitals and centres, with each machine providing approximately 936 washing sessions annually.
Need of the hour
The pressing need for additional dialysis machines in Saudi hospitals has been identified, with an estimated requirement of 142 devices to adequately serve the patient population. Al Deghaither also reflected on the society’s origins, inspired by King Salman’s initiative to establish a healthcare charity responsive to the needs of the increasing number of kidney failure patients across the Kingdom.
Beyond medical support, Kellana has extended its services to include socio-educational assistance, facilitating employment opportunities for patients, transplant recipients, donors, and their immediate families through advocacy and informational letters. To date, over 3,564 opportunity letters have been issued.
Additionally, the society has launched an educational and training program to bolster the academic and vocational skills of those affected by kidney diseases, benefiting 9,619 individuals through partnerships with Saudi universities, the Institute of Public Administration, and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation.