KATIMA MULILO – The Kidney and Dialysis Specialist Centre, which has eased woes for patients with kidney failure in Zambezi Region, was officially opened by the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday.
Previously, some patients from the north-eastern town travelled a round trip of about 2400km from Zambezi to Windhoek to access dialysis treatment.
Others had moved to Windhoek and Ongwediva to be near to the services. In his remarks, Shangula pointed out that the centre will go a long way in improving the lives of people with kidney failure in the Zambezi. “I have full confidence that this unit will offer renal therapy equivalent to care that is offered in any part of the developed world. Furthermore this dialysis unit will work in close liaison with our hospital in ensuring that total care is brought to Namibians in this region,” he said.
He also stated that the opening of the centre is another milestone development in Katima Mulilo, and it will serve as a great credit to health services. The centre is owned by Dr Glendah Kalunga, a specialist nephrologist, physician and clinician scientist with 18 years’ experience as a medical doctor.
Speaking at the opening of the centre Kalunga stated that “it has been a long road but we are finally here.” She explained that the centre’s primary focus is prevention, early detection and slowing down the progression of chronic kidney disease.
“We will provide screening services so that we can provide risk factor modification measures to those with risk factors for kidney disease… Kidney and Dialysis Centre will offer diagnostic services for kidney diseases in the form of kidney biopsies and therapeutic services in the form of dialysis treatment,” she elaborated.
Currently the centre has two machines where patients undergo a four-treatment process, but it has the capacity to accommodate eight machines should the need arise. However, the current machines can accommodate 12 patients on a 12-working day, and 24 patients on a 24-hour cycle. So far seven patients are receiving treatment at the facility.
As a way of ploughing back to the community, Kalunga announced at the event that the centre will offer free screenings to 5 000 patients in the next two years. Currently she is being assisted by three nurses and a cleaner.