BMH records successes as 33 kidney patients treated

BENJAMIN Mkapa Hospital (BMH) has recorded tremendous successes in provision of kidney transplant service as it commemorates five years since started offering such treatment.

BMH Chief Executive Director, Dr Alphonce Chandika, stated this when highlighting achievements attained in five years of the partnership between the BMH, University of Dodoma and Japanese Tokushukai Medical Group.

During the partnership, Dr Chandika noted that 33 patients have been treated, so far, hence, giving back smiles to kidney patients.

He told the media that during the period, the hospital managed to save 2.3bn/- which the government would have spent if the patients had been referred abroad.

The saved amount enabled the government to allocate them to other socio-economic activities.

“Japanese are true unconditional friends, they have supported establishment of the unit for kidney transplant treatment, this has taught us how to fish rather than just being given fish,” said Dr Chandika.

Of the 33 patients who underwent kidney transplant treatment, 22 were managed by BMH specialists whom had been fully trained by the Japanese experts, who offered capacity building training.

He said knowledge transfer offered to the BHM specialists was what made the hospital a well-known centre when it comes to kidney transplant.

The treatment cost for a pair of kidney transplants at the BMH cost between 25m/- to 30m/- compared to 80m/- and 100m/- when such treatment is carried out abroad.

The local cost would be lower than that should drugs and some medical appliances for carrying out such operations available in the country.

Currently, such drugs and medical devices are imported as there are no local manufacturers.

The support from Japanese started way back in 2010 by offering dialysis machines and in 2016 when checked the efficiency of the services they were satisfied thus decided to expand the support, this time to kidney transplant services.

He called upon the members of the public to donate a kidney to their relatives, assuring that the procedure is safe while informing that no policy yet for sale of such organ.

Dr Chandika said the hospital has been receiving a number of calls especially among youth who wanted to sell the kidney, saying “the laws do not allow such business.”

He advised those on dialysis to opt for the transplant, saying weekly the patient spends between 750,000/- and 900,000/- depending on the recommended session whose amount is 36m/- to 43m/- annually.

Among other plans, he said BMH aims to become the centre of excellence for kidney transplant in Eastern and Central Africa, whereas to start with it will embark on the knowledge transfer for zonal referral hospitals to bring services closer to the communities.

The hospital also charts out modalities for international certification to start the capacity building training on the kidney transplant to benefit the majority of Tanzanians.

One of the challenges is the lack of awareness on the services in the public but with time, BMH will eventually be an icon when it comes to kidney issues and transplant.

Dr Chandika said they were improving the services to ensure that they offer the best by working on the infrastructure.

On their part, Japanese Tokushukai Medical Group promised continued support to BMH now that it works towards construction of the kidney complex.

BMH expert, Dr Alfred Miremo said hypertension is the leading cause of kidney diseases as he advised the public to change lifestyle, handle obesity, diabetes among others.

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