Eleven patients receive kidney transplants at BMH

10Jan 2020
The Guardian
Eleven patients receive kidney transplants at BMH

ELEVEN patients have received kidney transplants since the service was started at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH), saving millions of shillings.

BMH Director Dr Alphonce Chandika said kidney transplant costs between 22m/- to 25m/- per patient, but the total cost for the treatment in foreign countries is over 100m/-.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after four more patients received kidney transplants Dr Chandika said dispensing the service at the hospital has saved a lot of money for the 11 patients, the money that would have been spent to treat the patients outside the country, including India.

He said the cost of kidney transplant to one patient outside the country is equivalent to treating five patients at BMH and that for the initial seven patients treated more than 700m/- was saved.

“We have succeeded to reduce costs to the government for sending kidney patients outside the country and none among the initial seven patients treated at the hospital lost his/her life and all of them are going about their businesses,” he said.

He said the kidney transplants was conducted in collaboration with University of Dodoma (UDOM) including experts from Tokushukay Medical Corporation of Japan who, after four transplants, will no longer come as local experts are now well acquainted with the task.

"The transplant done to four kidney patients began on January 6 this year and were very successful, we thank Japan, as their goal was to part knowledge to our local experts, and since they are assured of gaining the knowledge, they will no longer come, the transplants will be carried out by Tanzanians,” he said.

He said BMH has four experts trained in kidney transplant, twice they went to Japan and participated in kidney transplant as the surgery is common in that country.

The chairman of the medical team from Japan Prof Kobayashi Shuzo hailed Tanzania for strengthening kidney transplant service as he believed the hospital will now be able to treat patients from outside the country as well.

"It’s high time you conduct kidney transplant on your own as your experts are now qualified, but we will still cooperate by a few of us coming for a patient whose issue will be seen to be a little complicated, Prof Shuzo said.

One of the treated kidney transplant patient, Leah Nkonoki, said since she was transplanted with a kidney in 2018 she has never suffered any ailment and continues to conduct own business. She added that she received a kidney from her sister who is also doing well.

"Initially I was very ill but now I’m doing well and all those of us who received transplants came here yesterday and we were told that we were doing well, and we were given strict conditions not to eat grapes and oranges to avoid enhancing immunity to the body that would destroy the kidney,” she said.