By Jean Marie Ngong Song
The threat of imminent death that had hung on persons with kidney failures in Bamenda and the West Regions has now been consigned to nothingness, following the resumption of dialysis sessions in Bamenda. This took effect on Tuesday, July 25, with the arrival of some 100 kits from the Ministry of Public Health.
The Bamenda Regional Hospital Hemodialysis Center now operates at full capacity with all the eight dialyzing machines operating simultaneously and handling patients.
For six weeks, over 67 patients with kidney failures in the Northwest and West Regions of Cameroon who often dialyze at the Bamenda hemodialysis centre have had to reduce their routine session from two to one a week and at times compelled to purchase their own kits at the cost ofFCFA 150,000. Following the arrival of fresh kits that shall last for two months, they will now have to undergo dialysis twice a week and at the subsidized cost of FCFA 5,000.
The revelation was made recently by the Director of the hospital, Dr. Kinge Thomson Njie, in a public presentation of the kits.“The dialysis kits are part of the machines, consumables, syringes, tubes and liquids that are used only once and discarded. They must be there before a proper dialysis session. These kits were no longer available and that triggered the crisis that we have been going through at the hospital for close to six weeks now.
The arrival of these kits is a great relief. The 100 kits from the Ministry of Public Health shall last for two months and I was assured that this is just an emergency package to salvage the situation. Minister Andre Mama Fouda has assured me and patients that in the days ahead, a huge consignment that can run for the rest of the year and even take us into the next year shall arrive,” intimated Dr. Kinge.
According to Ephraim Nkusu, President of patients with kidney problems, the arrival of the new kits shall serve as a major bailout to members of his association. “We thank God and the Director of the hospital who kept assuring us that the kits will come and they have come. We now have the dialyzer, which is the artificial kidney, the cables and concentrates, solutions and needles. We are fortunate that despite the shortage of the kits we have not lost any member. We just hope that the bigger consignment would come as promised by the hospital administration so that we can know that our normal two sessions a week is guaranteed,” he said.
What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood, using a machine. This helps keep your body in balance when the kidneys can’t do their job. Dialysis has been used since the 1940s to treat people with kidney problems.
The kidneys are a pair of organs, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of your spine. They’re responsible for purifying your blood by removing waste and excess fluid from the body. When the kidneys don’t work properly, dialysis is used to perform the function of the kidneys.
Properly functioning kidneys prevent extra water, waste, and other impurities from accumulating in your body. They also help control blood pressure and regulate the levels of chemicals in the blood, such as sodium, or salt, and potassium. They even activate a form of vitamin D that improves the absorption of calcium.
When the kidneys can’t perform these functions due to disease or injury, dialysis can help keep the body running as normally as possible. Without dialysis, salts and other waste products will accumulate in the blood and poison the body. However, dialysis isn’t a cure for kidney disease or other problems affecting the kidneys. Different treatments may be needed to address those concerns.