The despondent patients made their position known on Wednesday, October 12, during an emergency visit to the
Governor’s office. Among other issues raised, the obsolete nature of machines, complete breakdown, epileptic supply
of electricity, lack of a standby generator and a stabilizer featured prominently as factors eminent in grounding the Hemodialysis centre, catering to over 60 patients with kidney failures from the West and the Northwest Regions.
According to Nkosu Ephraim, President of kidney patients at the Bamenda Regional Hospital, “the centre closed down on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, following the complete breakdown of the Osmiliser machine that purifies water sent to the dialyzing machines.We were told the motor of the machine got burnt. This motor has been repaired several times. It is getting to the tenth time it is being repaired. We are aware it could continue and that is why we have come in person to ask the Governor through his Secretary General to tell the Minister to completely replace the machines.
“The SG says the machines are already in Bamenda but not yet installed. The Director says the centre needs renovation. We don’t want to die soon. We shall embark on a strike action if the situation is not addressed and redressed. Each time there is a breakdown we lose members. If you miss dialyses for one week, you will die, “Ephraim lamented.
According to Lawrence Achah Mbah from Batibo, kidney patient, they should be saved from death fast. “I am not breathing well. Last week we were forced to dialyses only of few machines. I have been sick of kidney problem for two years. At times, I have to evacuate myself to Ebolowa for dialyses. We need help.”
The current ailing machines at the Bamenda Regional Hemodialyses centre were installed way back in 2009 and were due complete replacement in five years. Hitherto, it has been repair works time and time again. In November,
2014, Cameroon lost 20 souls in three months, following a breakdown of the machines. Even with eventual installation or repair of the machines, it will not be a moment to smile for the patients as there exists no standby generator to power the center in the event of power failure, a stabilizer to control power flw and constant supply of water to the centre a major ingredient for dialyses. Dissenting voices on the streets of Bamenda have wondered aloud, why the Government thrives on patch work in practically every facet of life.