PERMANENT SOLUTION

Lamu patients want kidney transplant as renal unit remains closed

Dialysis ward at the King Fahad hospital was closed because of persistent water shortage

In Summary
  • Even though a single dialysis session goes for Sh9,500 at the Lamu facility, patients were covered by NHIF.
  • This comes more than two months after the renal unit and dialysis ward at the King Fahad hospital were closed due to persistent water shortage.
An empty dialysis ward at the King Fahad hospital in Lamu
An empty dialysis ward at the King Fahad hospital in Lamu
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Dialysis patients in Lamu have asked the county and national governments to help them get kidney transplants after renal services stopped.

The renal unit and dialysis ward at the King Fahad hospital were closed two months ago because of persistent water shortages, making it impossible to operate.

At the time, the hospital had 15 active dialysis patients who were served with referral forms permitting them to seek services elsewhere.

Many of the patients have since protested the transfers arguing that they are not able to cater for transport, accommodation and treatment costs outside Lamu.

Even though a single dialysis session goes for Sh9,500 at the Lamu facility, patients were covered by the county under the National Health Insurance Fund.

The patients have asked the county to make urgent arrangements for them to get kidney transplants.

Said Hussein, 50, said he would rather get a transplant as that will offer a permanent solution compared depending on dialysis sessions which he says has drained him financially and put a toll on his family.

“We can’t do dialysis here because they haven’t reopened. Travelling out of Lamu to do it is very expensive. County and national governments should help us get transplants to save us from all this,” Hussein said.

Mohamed Ali,63, said transplants would enable them stop being dependent on dialysis, which is not available in Lamu.

Shortly after the renal unit closed down, the county executive for Health Anne Gathoni said the issue would be resolved in a month but so far nothing has changed.

Ali wonders why it’s taking the county long to re-open what he terms as a very sensitive unit in any hospital.

“This is the third month but there is no sign that the renal unit will open. If I got a kidney transplant, I would live a fulfilled life without worry about dialysis,” Ali said.

Wasama Nuno, 74, appealed to well-wishers in the health sector to come to their aid and help them.

“It’s frustrating what we keep going through dialysis here. Its life threatening that’s why we appeal for a permanent solution that will save us from all this stress,” Nuno said.

In her response, Gathoni said technicians were putting up final touches at the renal unit and they plan to re-open it before the end of next week.

“Our is almost done and we shall be back before close of next week. But we have always been in touch with our patients to guide and advice where necessary," Gathoni said.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

The doors to the renal unit at the King Fahd hospital in Lamu
The doors to the renal unit at the King Fahd hospital in Lamu
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
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