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A new body to support Muslim kidney patients

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  • A new body to support Muslim kidney patients

    JUNE 13, 2004 SUN
    By Vivi Zainol

    Association also aims to get more Muslims here to become organ donors

    A NEW organisation has been set up to support Muslim kidney patients here and step up the drive to get more Muslims to become organ donors.

    The Muslim Kidney Action Association has been registered as a society to allow it to raise and manage its own funds. It will take over the work of a committee of the same name that had been set up in 1990 to promote kidney transplantation among Muslims, then a controversial issue for the community.

    It has worked to increase the number of Muslims who have pledged their kidneys from 400 then to 14,500 as of April this year.

    Still, this is just 4.2 per cent of the estimated 310,000 Singaporean Muslims who are eligible for organ donation.

    With changes to Hota (Human Organ Transplant Act) coming up to include the cornea, liver and heart, the committee felt it had its work cut out to get more people to pledge their organs.

    Even though Muslims are still exempt from Hota, the new association's president, Mr Ameerali Abdeali, said yesterday: 'To be more effective in encouraging Muslims to pledge their organs, the committee needs to operate independently, collect and manage its own funds.'

    One of the association's priorities is to build a database of Muslim kidney patients in Singapore, estimated to be 500 out of the 2,000 patients here.

    Of those, 285 are undergoing dialysis with the National Kidney Foundation, which has 21 centres.

    Another 200 are with the Kidney Dialysis Foundation, hospitals and private dialysis centres.

    About 100 Muslim patients are diagnosed with kidney failure each year.

    The NKF says it costs $2,600 a month to treat a kidney patient on dialysis three times a week.

    The new association hopes to be able to offer counselling and financial support.

    NKF's chief executive officer, Mr T.T. Durai, said yesterday that the foundation would lend its expertise and financial support to the new association.

    From 1990 to last year, NKF contributed $8 million to education programmes for the Muslim community.

    Muis has already pledged $40,000 for the association's operating expenses, estimated to be $80,000 for the first two years.

    Those who want to join the association can call Mr Mohd Ali Marican on 6585-1209.,00.html
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  • #2
    MKAC to cater to Muslim kidney patients

    Posted: 10 June 2004 0935 hrs
    By Raymond Andrew, TODAY

    SINGAPORE : The Muslim group which tried - without success - to advocate for all Muslims to be included under the Human Organ Transplant Act (Hota) earlier this year, will now also act as a support organisation catering to the needs of Muslim kidney patients.

    Previously known as the Muslim Kidney Action Committee operating under the banner of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), the group registered itself as a society in March this year and unveiled its new name, the Muslim Kidney Action Association (MKAC), to the media on Wednesday.

    In its old form, the MKAC had focused on breaking the misconception that Islam did not allow organ donation.

    Explaining the reason for the change, MKAC president Ameerali Abdeali said they faced "certain limitations" when operating as a committee.

    "One of which was that it was not, in a sense, independent. Secondly, we were not in a position to raise funds," he said.

    The association will now assist Muslim kidney patients in financing dialysis treatment and ensuring that patients can sustain their quality of life.

    It also hopes to ensure that the extra financial burden of dialysis does not affect the education of the children of Muslim kidney patients.

    But it has not given up its Hota cause.

    It will continue to seek creative ways to have all Muslims included under Hota, said Mr Ameerali. - TODAY
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