Local kidney transplants save 5bn/-, says minister

04May 2020
Felister Peter
The Guardian
Local kidney transplants save 5bn/-, says minister

​​​​​​​SAVINGS of up to 5bn/- were made by the government between July 2019 and March 2020, which would have been spent on medical bills for kidney transplants abroad.

Kidney transplants are now conducted at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam and the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH) in Dodoma.

Ummy Mwalimu, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, said in presenting the ministry’s Budget estimates for the next financial year, that Muhimbili conducted 13 successful kidney transplants between July and March 2020, making a total of 56 patients who have received the treatment since it was introduced in 2018.

The cost for kidney transplant in the country is 30m/- while hospitals abroad charge 120m/- per patient, she said, noting that MNH plans to conduct five kidney transplants per month.

MNH is finalizing processes to start offering bone marrow transplant after it received 6.22bn/- from the Treasury in June 2019, the minister noted.

The funds were used to purchase machines and essential medical supplies plus organising a laboratory unit for cell processing and chemo daycare, he said.

“We expect bone marrow transplant services to begin this month (May), with 11 Muhimbili surgeons having attended a one month learning session in India,” she said.

The government has continued to provide funds for procurement of medical equipment at MNH, recently disbursing 900m/- for procurement of endoscopy machine at a cost of 397.2m/-, lung function test kit at a price of 140m/- and full blood picture machine at 362.7m/-, she stated.

Muhimbili has also introduced a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) at a cost of 4.9bn/-, she further noted.

Between July 2019 and March 2020, MNH attended 428,700 patients where 391,230 were out patients and 36,819 were admitted. The hospital offered free medical services to 121,136 people under various groups at a cost of 15,267,868,594/-.

 Mwalimu said the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) has attended 77,200 patients between July 2019 and March 2020 compared to 69,601 patients attended in the 2018/19 financial year.

Some of the patients were from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Comoros, Uganda, Malawi and Burundi, the minister added.