Filipino expatriates seek medical help

DUBAI & AL AIN — Two Filipino expatriates, one living in Dubai and the other in Al Ain, face life-threatening ailments that need urgent medical intervention, but do not have the resources to afford a fresh lease of life.

By Lily B. Libo-on & Lana Mahdi

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Published: Wed 6 Aug 2008, 1:54 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Apr 2015, 1:25 PM

Dubai-based Omar Estomaguio Danos, 46, who is suffering from leukaemia, is lucky to get free treatment and other facilities, courtesy of the UAE Government. But Al Ain-based 37-year-old Filipina Raquel Briones, who needs kidney transplantation, is not lucky enough to find such assistance.

"My hospitalisation at Rashid Hospital in Dubai is free, including the medicines, room charges and food. I thank the UAE Government, particularly the Ruler of Dubai, for this kind gesture," Omar said.

Omar, who worked as civil engineer at W JNP, an international construction contractor, has been lying in Rashid Hospital for the past seven months.

In the Philippines, bone marrow transplantation would cost about P4 million (Dh400,000 approximately) and in the United States $250,000 (Dh912,500 approximately).

Omar and his wife, Aurora, are longing for some good samaritan to come forward and help raise the amount for the urgent surgery.

Dr Mahmoud M. Marashi, consultant physician and head of the Haematology Unit in Rashid Hospital, said Omar needs to undergo bone marrow transplantation urgently.

"Bone marrow transplantation is not available in the UAE," he pointed out.

Luckily for Omar, one of his brothers, Carlos Danos, was found to have a perfect match and compatibility with Omar's bone marrow. What Omar needs now is just the cash for the surgery. 

In Al Ain, Raquel Briones has been suffering from kidney malfunction for the past two years and is seeking financial assistance for kidney transplantation, which so far has not come forth from any quarters.

Kidney transplantation in Germany could cost anything between Dh100,000-Dh250,000. However, in the Philippines the surgery could be done in a mere Dh65,000.

Raquel is being treated in Al Ain Government Hospital under the supervision of Dr Enyioma Opineche. She is suffering from the third stage of Renal Parenchymal Disease and only 30 per cent of her kidneys are functioning.

Raquel went to India in May 2007 where the checks conducted by the doctors at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune revealed symmetrical tracer uptake in her kidneys, diminishing perfusion radiotracer uptake and slow drainage, and the ureters are dilated. Raquel hoped she would be able to find donors through Khaleej Times.

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