Amid the whirlwind of events and everyday preoccupations, we at Watani invite you to stop for a few minutes to ponder the hardships of others, then maybe extend a loving, helping hand to those in need.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. (Psalm 6: 2)
Watani’s department al-Mahatta (The Stop) was founded by the late Antoun Sidhom in 1987, with the specific reason of helping the sick. Our readers’ generosity has enabled us to help countless patients undergo treatment or surgery that they could not otherwise afford. Watani now operates through a network of dedicated doctors who spare no effort to place a smile on the face of those who suffer. Patients with different ailments approach Watani from all over Egypt.
To give our readers an idea of al-Mahatta’s work, we cite the figures for the last one-and-a-half years. During 2016, Watani—through its readers’ donations—helped treat about 516 patients, at an approximate cost of EGP430,000 and during the first five months of 2017, Watani treated 162 patients for some EGP152,000. The money was spent on financial help for patients, doctors’ fees, various types of medical investigations, surgeries, and medication.
Rising medicine prices: Difficult balancing act
Our mission is not only to ease the pain of the sick but also to help those who need constant care. The common element on that score is the ‘medicine bag’.
Many of our patients need medication on a regular basis. Because we well realise the importance of the medicine for them and how they cannot do without it, we have arranged for them to get their medication on a monthly basis.
A long queue of patients waiting for their lifeline of medicines forms at Watani every month. Among them are Eid and his brother Sobhy Wadie, the little girl Marianne Atef, and the young woman Viola Nazeer, who all suffer brain and nerve disorders. The older woman Afaf Fouad suffers from rheumatoid; Theresa Wassef is diabetic; and there are also Samir Aziz and Emad Mansour who have cardiac problems. Kyrillos Shady is a child who suffers growth hormone deficiency.
The path of charity is bumpy. As Watani bridges the gap between the sick and the charity lovers, one big ‘bump’ we have come to face during the past six months is the rising price of medicine. The economic reform Egypt has been implementing brought on a huge increase in prices; medicines were no exception. We at Watani found ourselves in the precarious position of having to work a balance between readers’ donations which declined under the difficult economic conditions, and the cost of medicine which spiraled.
During 2016, we spent a total EGP105,000 on monthly medication for patients. This sum is expected to double this year. We can only depend on our readers’ generosity to cover the gap.
28 June 2017