x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sharjah Awqaf fund to support health care for poor

Sharjah Awqaf General Trust has set up a health fund to provide free medicine for the poor, build more hospitals and provide scholarships for medical students.

SHARJAH // Sharjah Awqaf General Trust has set up a health fund to provide free medicines for the poor, build more hospitals and provide scholarships for medical students. The health fund, which was proposed earlier this year, is only the latest of several launched and managed by Sharjah Awqaf, a government-run charitable organisation. Other funds are concerned with building mosques, schools and water systems in the UAE and abroad, but the health fund is the first of its kind undertaken by the trust.

"We have a verse in the holy Quran that says that if someone saves just one life, it's like he has saved the life of all people," said Jamal Salim al Turaifi, the director general of Sharjah Awqaf. Most of the health fund's projects in the first year of operation are intended to help the poor, especially labourers, who are unable to afford medicines, Mr al Turaifi said. The fund is operating in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sharjah's two government hospitals - Kuwaiti and Al Qassimi.

The fund intended to extend its support of health care for the poor into some private hospitals, said Mr al Turaifi, who added that it had not yet been determined what illnesses the fund would cover. Along with supporting the building and maintenance of hospitals, the fund would underwrite a research centre to be set up in one of Sharjah's universities. Its focus would be the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Like all of Sharjah Awqaf's funds, the health fund would be supported by donations, Mr al Turaifi said, and he urged the public to give generously. He reminded the public that Awqaf donor coupons were available in denominations of Dh10, Dh30 and Dh50 at mosques and in shopping centres. Those who could make larger contributions were encouraged to give those donations to attendants at their mosques, to put them in Awqaf receptacles at shopping centres or to hand them in at Awqaf's offices.

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