More patients to travel for bone marrow transplants

Eight more thalassaemia patients are set to travel abroad for bone marrow transplants with help from the Zakat fund, the National Social Protection Agency has said, according to local media.

Mujthaba Jaleel, chief executive of the agency, said at an Islamic Ministry ceremony yesterday: “Two patients will leave within the next two days and the other six will leave next week.”

The eight patients are receiving an Indian replication of a treatment from Italy, at the Indian Global Hospital and Manipal Hospital in Bangalore.

Speaking at the ceremony, Islamic Minister Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said that expenses for the transplants are covered by the Zakat Fund, demonstrating the social benefit from property Zakat, which is related to the value of properties owned. Charitable “Zakat” payments are one of the five pillars of Islam.

Shaheem also called upon the wealthier members of the community to give property Zakat.

At the ceremony, Ahmed Zuhoor, the minister of health, said they have spoken to three Indian hospitals about the transplants.

The Zakat Fund has financed 34 patients for bone marrow transplants. Ten patients left on 12 March for Sri Lanka and India. Each patient is taken care of by the Zakat Fund and given more than MVR 600,000.

Some 18 per cent of Maldivians suffer from thalassaemia, a blood disorder, according to the Maldivian Thalassaemia Society.