Four years: Kidney transplantations services – 1 Who does it? How is it done?

Four years: Kidney transplantations services – 1 Who does it? How is it done?

THIS year, the Dodoma-based Benjamin Mkapa Hospital marks its fourth year since it successfully transplanted a kidney to a patient in 2018, which opened gates to kidney transplant services at the health facility.

Subsequently, 24 local patients have benefited from the super specialized service at the hospital, had it not been provided, the patients probably could have been forced to travel thousands of miles away from the country to seek the service.

Also, two patients came for the service from abroad --from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Oman.

More importantly, the service has since been under local medical team custody with almost little consultation from foreign experts. The kidney transplant service, apart from being a medical relief to patients, for the government making it available in the country, specifically in Dodoma offers social-economic relief.

Therefore, it is with great interest that after four years of Kidney transplantation services, the public know some of the medical team members working tirelessly day and nights to realise the medical adventures.

These are articles in series that will uncover some of the “Who’s and Who’s” on Kidney Transplantation service at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital.

Dr Anthony Jackson Gyunda, who at the age of five got moved into a medical career by a medical personnel, Dr Miliza, ‘the old man knew how to talk to patients’ and at grade six, a science teacher Joel Ntandu, showered the young man’s medical dream by a token of good teaching.

The dual, Dr Miliza and Joel Ntandu respectively, saved in his village of Nguvumali-Ushora Ndago that is remotely located 60 kilometres from Singida town.

Without disgracing the family, be informed Dr Gyunda is a third generation of medical in the family. A medical grandfather enlightened his understanding of the career he had two aunts in the field; they gave the support he needed.

Dr Gyunda, took it from them all, some in the remote village and ever since never turned, he went all the way to Wenzhou Medical University in Zhejiang province of People’s Republic of China to specialize in Internal Medicine with particular interests in Kidney related diseases (Nephrology).

Currently, Dr Gyunda heads the Nephrology department at the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, which is the first step for anyone looking to benefit from kidney transplant service at the hospital.

According to Dr. Gyunda, the department conducts clinics thrice a week, mostly receiving referrals from within the hospital and across the country that are patients with identified symptoms or confirmed to have kidney related diseases. Categorically, Dr.

Gyunda, grouped kidney related diseases commonly seen at the department into three, ‘vascular related kidney diseases’ like Nephrotic Syndrome routinely among children and adolescents with some few adults likely to acquire it depending on the type of syndrome.

“When nephrotic syndrome is identified early, medication intervention can restore the patient’s kidney functions with some patients requiring few dialysis sessions to recover” Said Dr. Gyunda.

‘Acute Kidney Injury’ was another group described as a sudden decrease or loss of Kidney functions resulting in retention of urea and other waste products normally excreted through urine due to various circumstances like sudden blood loss or severe febrile illnesses.

“for acute kidney injury medication can restore the kidney functions” Dr. Gyunda said, however, if the patient’s kidneys were badly harmed to total failure haemodialysis therapy became a must “and at this stage we consider dialysis as life serving therapy that must be available and accessible to the needy” He insisted.

Lastly, ‘Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD)’ that occur when a patient has a chronic disease(s) that slowly impairs kidney functions over a period of time mostly, several months to years, diabetes and hypertension leads to CKD. Unlike Nephrotic syndrome and acute kidney failure diseases, Dr. Gyunda said that CKD was staged in five severity stages, whereas stage one to two may not show any symptoms.

“That is why I advise people to regularly check their kidney health at least twice a year” he insisted, from stage three to five a patient shows various symptoms of decreased kidney functions as in; body swelling, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Dr Gyunda said CKD required a complex intervention normally by optimally controlling a patient’s offending disease(s) commonly diabetes or hypertension or both, then a patient had to counsel on available treatment options, which are either haemodialysis or kidney transplant.

Dr Gyunda raised by both his parents in Nguvumali-Ushora Ndago said, primarily a patients showing lower limbs swelling; a swelling face, generalized body swelling, reduced urine output, foamy urine, constant appetite loss, nausea, regular vomiting, and a state of confusion might be considered to have symptoms and signs of kidney related diseases.

“Not all CKD patients qualify for kidney transplant” he noted and continued, “It’s only those who fit into some medical, psychosocial, socio-economic condition deemed to kidney transplant treatments” The Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma, considers a CKD patient whose age do not exceed 60, has a family member whose age is not below 25 and does not exceed 60 willingly volunteer to donate one of his kidneys.

And that, the donor must be a close relative, like a parent, a child, a sibling or a spouse, and this esteemed donor, and the patient, must be thoroughly screened and medically cleared from infectious diseases, like HIV, Hepatitis or any type of cancer and other chronic diseases not compatible for organ transplant services.

Thereafter, when the kidney receiver and donor are cleared from medical requirements, they go into yet another assessment, they must be mentally stable, and financially fit, especially those who are not insured, because, after transplant the receiver will be on immunosuppressant medications for entire life, which is quite expensive.

● “The writer of this article is a Communication Specialist working with the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital; he is also a kidney transplant service beneficiary, he can be reached through email; raymtania@gmail.com or mobile; 0767074991


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