x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Zayed Foundation helps ailing Filipino

The Zayed Foundation has come to the aid of a Filipino suffering from kidney failure.

ABU DHABI // The Zayed Foundation has come to the aid of a Filipino suffering from kidney failure. Eriberto Antonio, 59, an Abu Dhabi resident who has been without work for the past three years due to his illness, was repatriated to the Philippines last week. "We had previously collaborated with the Zayed Foundation on several occasions for very urgent and serious cases," said Noel Servigon, the consul general at the Philippine Embassy. "In this particular case, the Zayed Foundation provided financial assistance for his continued medical care until he was ready to travel to the Philippines."

For several months, Mr Antonio underwent dialysis three times a week at Al Mafraq Hospital for end-stage renal failure. Such patients typically require dialysis to clean their blood or a kidney transplant. His wife, Aurora, a former nurse at Al Mafraq Hospital, was among more than 200 nurses whose contracts the hospital did not renew last year. As a result, Mr Antonio's insurance could no longer cover his dialysis treatment in Abu Dhabi.

The Philippine Embassy and the Filipino Expatriates in UAE Foundation then asked the Zayed Foundation to help Mr Antonio. Mr Antonio, a resident of the Emirates for the past 25 years, previously worked at Dubai Police but moved to Abu Dhabi where he had been employed at a trading company in Musaffah. "But he was forced to leave his job in Musaffah when he fell sick and had to be on dialysis three times a week," Ernesto Refugio, the chairman of Filex UAE board of trustees, said.

"Then his wife lost her job early this year which took a toll on the family's finances. She had wanted her husband to have a kidney transplant but they could not afford the cost of the treatment in the Philippines." Filex UAE, a Filipino foundation established last year to provide financial assistance to Filipinos who are in great financial need, shouldered the cost of Mr Antinio's air ticket of Mr Antonio to Manila.

"We also assisted in processing his documents and medical report to be presented to the Philippine National Red Cross," Mr Refugio said. rruiz@thenational.ae