“My sister used to accompany me to dialysis sessions, says Mohammad. “But to save money, I asked her to stop coming with me. Now we save $10 each trip.”
Mohammad is a 50-year-old Palestinian refugee from Rashidiyyeh camp in southern Lebanon. Three times a week, he uses public transportation to go to dialysis sessions at Al Hamshari Hospital. The hospital is one of the five Palestinian Red Crescent Society facilities serving Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, but it’s the only one in the south that has a kidney dialysis unit. It’s located in the city of Sidon, 30 miles south of Beirut.
A farmer, Mohammad has experienced problems due to high blood pressure since the young age of 24. Matters got worse four years ago, when he suffered from kidney failure. He has been undergoing dialysis treatment since then.
Anera cooperated with its local partner, Health Care Society, to distribute essential medical supplies to the two kidney dialysis units that serve Palestinian refugees in Lebanon: one at Al Hamshari Hospital in the south and the other at Safad Hospital in the north. The units were donated by longtime partner Direct Relief. Also included were gauze rolls, syringes, cotton rolls, blood filters, and other essential medical items.
In-kind donations are much appreciated by staff and patients. It’s how we can keep providing dialysis services free-of-charge.
“There are about 95 patients that undergo kidney dialysis at Al Hamshari on a regular basis. Thirty of them come from Tyre, like Mohammad,” said Dr. Ahmad Jindawi, head of kidney dialysis at Al Hamshari. The number of patients has increased since the start of the Syrian war next door. Many of the patients are Palestinian-Syrian refugees.
Dr. Jindawi explained, “On a weekly basis, we perform a total of 215 kidney dialysis sessions. These require a kit of expensive supplies, so in-kind donations are much appreciated by staff and patients. It’s how we can keep providing dialysis services free-of-charge.”
“It is very costly to do dialysis at a private hospital. I did it for a short while at Tyre to avoid the long journey to Sidon but I could not bear the costs any longer,” said Mohammad.
Like Mohammad, there are many Palestinian refugees struggling with kidney disease and other illnesses that they cannot afford to treat. For decades, Anera has been supporting these patients through the provision medicines and medical supplies donated by trusted partners.