KNH to get more dialysis machines

March 10, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) will acquire three additional dialysis machines for kidney patients after receiving a donation of Sh4.8 million from the Kenya Commercial Bank foundation.

This would bring the total number of functional dialysis machines at the hospital to 15, which would enable at least 45 patients to undergo dialysis daily.

KNH Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Charles Kabetu said on Thursday that currently between 25 and 35 patients underwent dialysis everyday at the hospital.

"It is regrettable that the number of patients with kidney failure who require dialysis treatment has increased tremendously over the years and more of this is among the youth," Dr Kabetu said.

He said that an estimated 60 percent of the people who suffered from renal ailments in the country were youths mainly because of childhood infections and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

He however said that the hospital was only able to give two dialysis sessions per week to each patient against the recommended three because of shortage of machines. They still required an additional ten machines to offer the full sessions.

"If we are to give the required three dialysis sessions in a week, it would cost a patient Sh676,000 per year," he stated.

He said that while kidney transplant was a better alternative to dialysis, majority of patients lacked donors even among relatives.

"We are encouraging relatives to donate because it has been proven that a person can still function with one kidney," Dr Kabetu said.

He advised Kenyans to take care of their eating habits to reduce the risk of suffering kidney problems.

To reduce the demand for dialysis, KNH has partnered with doctors from Spain to establish a five-year kidney transplant programme that began in October 2009.

"The programme seeks to revamp KNH as a centre of excellence in Kenya on kidney transplant through improvement of techniques and exchange of expertise," he said.

It had also focused on reduction of the cost of post-kidney transplant drugs where all patients transplanted under the program received drugs at a subsidised cost.

At least 35 patients have benefited from the programme at a cost of Sh550,000 each.

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