14 December 2012

Zambia: Dialysis Machine - Hope for Kidney Patients

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has launched a dialysis machine at Konkola Mine Hospital in Chililabombwe for patients with kidney complications.

The hospital has since received more than 20 patients from the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka for specialised treatment free of charge.

The mining company has invited a medical consultant from International Society of Nephrology, Ayo Shonibare of Nigeria to oversee a one-week fistula camp.

Dr Shonibare said kidney failure was one of the health challenges African countries were experiencing.

He said kidney failure was expensive to treat but that with objective and commitment by companies like KCM, the condition was treatable.

He said the adoption of certain diets from the Western world had led to African countries recording diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

KCM's Konkola Integrated Business Unit executive director, Thirugnanam Navamani said the mining firm had undertaken the exercise at a cost of K270 million.

He said most of the patients were non-miners and were brought in by KCM from the UTH renal unit at no cost.

Chililabombwe acting District Commissioner, George Sichula said dialysis operations were costly whether done locally or internationally.

Mr Sichula said such specialised operations could have cost each patient about K16.9 million in Zimbabwe and K30 million in South Africa.

"It is Government's policy to scale up the provision of renal services in the public sector. You are aware that dialysis services in the public sector are currently only available in Lusaka at UTH," he said.

In a vote of thanks, David Machisemu of Lusaka thanked KCM and the surgeons that had operated on him.

Mr Machisemu said the operation was successful and was now looking forward to going home.

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