April 11, 2013

Mulago Hospital Cuts Costs To Reduce Kidney Diseases

To manage increasing cases of Kidney disease, Mulago Referral Hospital is set to create a system where patients will pay 40% of the total cost of dialysis, which is at 1 million UGX and the hospital caters for 60%.

If this takes effect, patients will only pay a user fee of 90,000 UGX and use dialysis machines free of charge.

At Mulago renal unit, doctors perform 35 dialysis in a day. Two patients require kidney transplant every month, but are lacking funds for the operation and have to stay on dialysis.

Patients with diseases will now pay 40% of the cost for dialysis
Patients with diseases will now pay 40% of the cost for dialysis

According to Dr, Simon Peter Eyote, a kidney disease specialist at Mulago renal unit, kidney disease presents itself in conditions ranging from high blood pressure, diabetes and HIV sometimes occurring together.

Currently, cases of kidney transplant are referred to India which has developed renal facilities. Dr. Eyote estimates that the cost of the surgery and medication is 60 million UGX, money which covers one year dialysis of three sessions a week.

Mulago has 16 dialysis machines with additional 10 expected this year, but Dr. Eyote says that the few specialists in the disease are overwhelmed by increasing cases of kidney failure.

At Mulago renal unit, there are four nurses, a technician and two doctors. Kidney transplant requires about 12 nurses, at least two doctors’ technicians.

Dr. Eyote says in three years time Mulago may well be equipped to carry out transplants.

The Minister of health Dr. Christine Ondoa advises that early diagnosis and regular checkups is important to harness the disease before it escalates.

Some of the examinations done in a wellness check up include cancer, sugar level, prostate cancer, blood pressure and HIV.

However there are successes in the management of kidney diseases, Dr. Eyote says 60 patients have received kidney transplants and are doing well together with their donors. About five of these have died of related complications or rejection of the kidney.

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