Donated medicine helps Akram thrive
For young patients like Akram, medical aid is life saving
Akram was born pale and yellow. Doctors discovered that he had liver problems. He underwent surgery in Jerusalem when he was only two months old. Unfortunately, the procedure was not successful and doctors recommended a liver transplant.
His health continued to deteriorate. The young boy had blood in his vomit and stool. “I was spending most of my time at hospitals,” his mother, Eman, says. She has two girls in addition to her son.
Eman decided to donate part of her liver to Akram. The surgery, which took place in Turkey, went well this time. He began taking tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug, to prevent his body from rejecting his new liver.
Today, Akram is five years old. His health is better, aside from a dry cough. He needs frequent steam inhalation therapy at home. He will need to take immunosuppressants for the rest of his life. Still the improvement in Akram’s health is clear to Eman.
“Now, Akram is doing fine,” his mother says. “He’s such an active preschooler. It is a huge relief that the medication is right here.”
Thanks to a shipment of donated medicine from International Health Partners, Anera recently distributed tacrolimus to Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Shipping costs of the donated medicine were covered by Islamic Relief USA through its Palestine Humanitarian Aid project.
Dr. Reem says, “We mainly use tacrolimus as a prophylaxis against transplant rejection in liver, kidney or heart allografts. Otherwise, patient health will deteriorate even after transplant surgeries.”
The disease isn’t common, but Reem says that for patients suffering from it, “It is truly critical to secure the medication. It was out of stock for almost six months before this shipment arrived. Shortages of this medicine mean further complications and pain for patients.”
At Shifa Hospital, there are 20 children who need tacrolimus. They have all received organ transplants or have weak immune systems. The medication is essential for these children. Tacrolimus is unavailable in the private health sector so donations like this one are all the more vital for these kids.
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.