As part of their corporate social responsibility, Trust Bank Limited, a private commercial bank in The Gambia has on Thursday 23 November, 2021 donated medical items worth D250,000 to the Dialysis Unit of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul.
The medical items are Heparin 25000 IU 200 vials and Erythropoietin 4000 IU 150 injections which are medication for patients with end stage renal disease. The bank dedicated this timely donation to one of their late staff, Mr. Ebrima Frazer, who died in 2019 after being diagnosed with chronic renal failure in 2016.
"We witnessed first hand the devastating effect that this diagnosis brought to him, his family and to all of us at the bank. Unfortunately in 2019, we lost him but his legacy lived on as it is through his case that we have come to be associated with the dialysis unit," said Njilan Senghore, managing director, Trust Bank Ltd.
She added that there is a higher prevalence of kidney disease in The Gambia and like most Sub-Saharan nations, The Gambia is plagued by limited resources available for management of end stage renal disease.
"Dialysis is the most common form of renal therapy available locally but there is generally inadequacy of consumables which unfortunately leads to patient being under dialysed or in some cases not dialysed at all for days and weeks," Njilan pointed out.
Dr. Emmanuel Effa, consultant physician and kidney disease specialist, EFSTH, said the two medications donated are very crucial in their treatment of patients with kidney failures.
"We have about 100 patients on chronic dialysis in addition to those who come in with acute kidney failure both of whom require especially heparin for dialysis. The majority of others on chronic dialysis require erythropoietin to keep their blood level at optimal level."
He expressed delight, saying the medication will serve their patients and provide relief to most of the patients who cannot afford it. "The cost of treatment of this condition is beyond what most people can afford. Even for average middle income earners the treatment for advanced kidney failure can run you bankrupt," he lamented.
Chief Medical Director Prof. Ousman Nyan, expressed gratitude to the donors, saying Trust Bank has had a number of years of supporting the health sector. He thanked the Bank for what he described as a very relevant and generous offer to improving the lives of people with chronic kidney diseases in the country.
"Heparin and Erythropoietin are very vital medications we use at our unit. We saw patients with kidney failures which is the organ responsible for removing toxic waste and other functions. The medications are very vital because presently, everyday our patients are looking for transfusions which is difficult," said Dr. Lamin S. Sima, nephrologist, EFSTH.
Patients, he added, find it very difficult to get blood because there is no donor, "but with erythropoietin in our hands we will be able to go a long way because it will help us to maintain their hemoglobin."