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Pakistani couple in UAE desperate to save kids with serious ailments

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
Filed on November 17, 2019 | Last updated on November 17, 2019 at 06.24 am
Pakistani couple, UAE, desperate, save kids, serious ailments, medical expenses
The family lives in a tin-shed accommodation in the old Al Bahya, some 40km from Abu Dhabi city. - Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times

They are living each day in fear as the condition of their children is getting worse due to lack of proper medical care.

A Pakistani family in Abu Dhabi is struggling to meet the medical expenses of their two children - both diagnosed with serious medical conditions.

Five-year-old Mohammed Abban has hypospadias, a congenital condition in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the organ instead of at the tip, and coloboma, a congenital malformation of the eye causing defects in the lens, iris, or retina. Four-year-old Mohammed Ariz has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and symptoms of autism.

Their parents - mother Mahjabeen Ahmed and father Ahmed Gulam who are from Karachi Pakistan - said they are living each day in fear as the condition of their children is getting worse due to lack of proper medical care.

"We couldn't perform Abban's circumcision ritual because of hypospadias. He can't go out because of coloboma in his eyes. My younger son has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism symptoms. He is hyper active to the point of being scary. He hurts himself but doesn't feel any pain. His vaccination is pending. They need medical attention. We also can't afford to send them to school."

"As parents, we are willing to go to any length to save our kids. But unfortunately we are financially unsound and struggling to make ends meet and don't have money for their treatment," said Mahjabeen, 35.

Gulam, 42, said the family ran into bad times after his business venture failed. He was left with hefty bank loans. "My part-time job is not enough to ensure health care and renewal of medical insurance cards. We are struggling to survive. I want to save my kids. We have medical insurance fines of Dh25,000. I need Dh225,000 to settle all my debts," Gulam rued.

The family lives in a tin-shed accommodation in the old Al Bahya, some 40km from Abu Dhabi city. The mother said she had lost one of her babies during pregnancy and cannot risk the lives of her two boys.

"We are scared. We are looking at ways to raise money for their medical care. I am knocking on all doors for help. I sell second-hand products online, all given by friends and well-wishers. But that is hardly enough."

The couples claimed they are faced with eviction and their utilities were disconnected as they are unable to pay rent.

"We can't be on the roads with our ill kids," said Mahjabeen.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

Ashwani Kumar

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