75 pct of kidney patients cannot afford dialysis cost

12Mar 2021
The Guardian
75 pct of kidney patients cannot afford dialysis cost
  • at Mbeya Referral Hospital

​​​​​​​SEVENTY-FIVE per cent of kidney patients who need to undergo dialysis at Mbeya Zone Referral Hospital cannot pay for the high cost being charged.

This was revealed early this week by the Hospital’s kidney specialist, Dr Octavian Kasanga to the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Dorothy Gwajima during her inspection visit at the hospital’s kidney ward.

Dr Kasanga said out of every four people with kidney ailment, three have no financial ability to meet treatment cost and when such a situation arises, some of them conduct fundraising while others get exemption from payment.

“The government has put up conducive environment in treating kidney patients and that is why we receive patients from different parts of the Southern Highlands Regions, as our services are good with adequate equipment and experienced experts in kidney treatment,” he said. 

Mbeya Zone Referral Hospital Director Dr Godlove Mbwanji said despite the high treatment cost, the service has been closer to the people.

He said the introduction of kidney dialysis at the hospital has helped many people in the Southern Highlands Zone to access it in time especially those who are required to undergo dialysis at least three times per week.

He said in the past the service was being provided at Dar es Salaam’s Muhimbili Hospital and patients had to undergo great expenses to travel, while others could not meet treatment cost.

Kidney’s specialist from Dodoma’s Benjamin Mkapa Hospital Dr Linda Ezekiel said in one year one kidney patient was required to pay more than 40m/-.

Speaking on the government plan to reduce kidney treatment cost, Dr Gwajima, the Health minister said they have increased specialized medical services at all zonal referral hospitals that provide dialysis services.

She said the government aims to empower all regional referral hospitals to provide kidney treatment including dialysis by 2025.

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