Responding to the news item titled “Abandoned by loved ones at the hospital” published in Khaleej Times on February 18, a number of readers have come forward to offer their free time volunteering for these sick patients.
Writing in to KT, a Dubai-based reader said: “I just happened to read your article. It makes my heart weep out of sorrow for the people abandoned by their loved ones. As a tiny initiative I would like spend my free time visiting few of these patients as a volunteer.”
Another Sharjah-based reader called in to say: “I am much touched … and these cases remind of the time I was undergoing when my family members were hospitalised. It is a very tough time to be in. I want to help as much as I can.”
An estimated 230 patients who are either comatose or in a partial state of consciousness have been identified by Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) committee that picks patients who may need long-term treatment. They are currently being cared for in three hospitals across Dubai.
In most cases, families of such patients are not based in the UAE. Financial reasons and their inability to offer home care are the main reasons why families disown such patients, explain health officials from DHA. Studies have shown that talking to such patients affects them psychologically and aids recovery.
“I do not know if my spending time with the patient will help him/her or not, but I still want to do my little bit for society,” wrote another reader.
The DHA has an assistance programme called Mosaadah that provides financial help to patients with financial constraints and even to long-term patients.
The authority encourages donations and volunteers from the general public, as well. Those interested may contact 04-2197474.
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