A health expert specialised in kidney health at Mzuzu Central Hospital, John Chipolombwe has called on Malawians to take precautionary measures in preventing kidney disease, saying its treatment is costly.
Chipolombwe made the call on Friday at Katoto Community Day Secondary School Ground in Mzuzu during the commemoration of World Kidney Day.
He said embracing habits that keep kidneys in good shape is key to preventing problems that are associated with kidney complications
“Its treatment is costly as the country doesn’t have enough facilities that can handle patients suffering from kidney diseases.
“As of now, all kidney patients are referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe for treatment where they are placed on a dialysis machine for atleast three times a week and not everyone can be attended on time to due to increased numbers of clients,” said Chipolombwe.
In his remarks, Assistant Director of Health Services responsible for Non Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, Hastings Chiumia said shortage of treatment facilities and equipment is a huge problem.
“We only have 17 dialysis machines against 300 kidney failure patients. We are working on finding ways to start providing similar services at Mzuzu and Zomba central hospitals to reduce pressure on Kamuzu Central Hospital,” Chiumia said.
President of Kidney Foundation of Malawi, Frank Mwale called for multi stakeholder collaboration in improving health service delivery for kidney disease.
“Currently, we are advocating for the establishment of a kidney treatment facility at Mzuzu Central Hospital. We are calling upon stakeholders to join hands with us in this cause,” Mwale said.
Traditional Authority Mtwalo who presided over the event, appealed for enhanced awareness campaigns on kidney related diseases for people to be observing precautionary measures.
World Kidney Day is commemorated every second Thursday of March and this year, it was held under the theme “Kidney Health for All- preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable.”