by Teresa Yeo and MK Ong
A total of RM 22,500 were distributed in aid of 33 children from 19 families by the JB Lions Renal Care Foundation Council members on the 28th December 2013.
The council distributed RM 500 to 13 primary school children and RM 800 to 20 secondary school children at the Johor Baru Lions Club dialysis centre in Jalan Perisai, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru
The school fees of children studying in the independent schools was also borne by this foundation.
Cash assistance such as this is given out twice a year, with the first round of handouts were distributed earlier on March this year.
All children who are the offsprings of the dialysis patients whose monthly income is less than RM 3,000 were eligible to receive financial assistance. It was distributed to children of patients who avail of the services from the Lions Club dialysis centre here or from Taman Baidur.
Once a child is entitled to such assistance, he continues to receive such assistance until he completes his secondary education.
Also children who are in higher institutions received bursaries from the foundation council.
CJMY interviewed 36 year old housewife, Madam Rosnah who said she is grateful that her four children were given the financial assistance.
Madam Rosnah who has been having kidney problem for three years brought her four children to receive the aid. She has a son and three daughters; two of them are in primary school and two in secondary.
Another patient the CJMY reporter spoke to was Normawati binti Yahya a housewife who has been seeking treatment from the centre for the past two years.
She was pleased her daughter Nua Ummairah binti Tarmidzi, 15 was entitled to such assistance from the Lions Club.
17 year old Wee Xiang another beneficiary of the financial aid is determined not to let his family circumstance stop him from pursuing his dreams.
“I hope to study business related subjects such as finance when I grow up,” said Wee Xiang Ji.
Xiang Ji’s father whose kidney failed ten years ago, received public donation to go to China hoping to get a kidney transplant but returned to Malaysia without his wish fulfilled.
He has lost an eye and Xiang Ji and his sister have to stay with relatives.
His mother is a hawker and his father helps his mother.
Lion Chey Fock Yong, the Children Education Council member who spoke at the function said the amount was to help pay for the expenses of the children’s uniforms, books and stationery.
In the dialogue that ensued, it was felt that the council may have to consider helping in more ways such as to alleviate the pressure felt by increasing cost of bus fares for school children as prices of essentials keeps rising.
In recent months, the Ministry of Health has published what it called “worrying statistics” and indicated that Malaysia has the highest incidence of end-stage renal failure due to diabetes.
Malaysia has been identified as probably having the highest percentage of patients in the world with diabetes as the cause of end-stage kidney failure.
The ministry has urged the public to take care of their kidneys as the number of patients suffering from kidney disease is on the rise.
Datuk Dr Azmi Shapie, the former director of the Health Ministry’s medical development division, said: “Kidney problems can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.”
“In 2011, 56 per cent of new dialysis patients nationwide suffered from diabetes, while six per cent suffered from high blood pressure,”
Members of the public who would like to receive more information on the student financial aid may contact Lion Chey at 0127160081.