Source: Nairobi Star
21 April 2011
Safaricom has donated four dialysis machines to be installed in various hospitals across the country. The machines worth Sh6 million will ease the strain on Kenyatta National and Moi Referral, the two public hospitals currently offering dialysis.
Safaricom Foundation chairman Les Baillie yesterday said the machines will be sent to Embu, Nyeri and Kakamega Provincial General hospitals. Meru District hospital will also receive one machine to serve the Upper Eastern region. “We hope they will serve people in the rural areas because many of them have been struggling to come to Kenyatta for dialysis,” he said at Safaricom headquarters when presenting a cheque to Medical Services minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o. Patients with kidney failure undergo dialysis thrice a week to cleanse their blood as they await a possible transplant.
There is a biting shortage of the machines in Kenya and patients are forced to undergo two sessions at a cost of Sh4,500 each in public hospitals or Sh9,000 in private ones. Safaricom last year bought a Sh1.5 million machine for Kenyatta which serves 145 kidney patients.
Yesterday, Safaricom also launched a Sh15 million medical camp campaign to be held across the country. The camps will begin at the end of this month in Ndaragwa, Central Kenya.
Prof Nyong’o said patients with non-communicable diseases now occupy 50 per cent of all hospital beds. “Diseases like cancer and kidney failure take long to heal and are expensive to treat,” he said.Nyong’o said the world was exploring funding for such diseases. He said he will attending meetings in Moscow, culminating in the UN Summit on non-communicable diseases in September in New York. Cancer and kidney experts have been calling for a fund similar to the Global Fund which supports free treatment of TB, Malaria and HIV.
Nyong’o said they had revised regulations to ease participation of private firms in public enterprises. Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, a local NGO, said diabetes has become a major health concern. “There’s also very low public awareness in the rural areas and most people there are being diagnosed late,” said the director, Eva Muchemi