PATIENTS REQUIRING DIALYSIS ARE DYING FOR LACK OF REAGENTS
A patient requiring dialysis and prominent veteran journalist, Swithin Hangala has said renal patients are dying for lack of regular dialysis.
Mr. Hangala said all the 12 renal centres across the country have not worked for the last few months.
Below is his writing;
When I get upset, I really get upset especially when it concerns my life and living with chronic kidney failure. I keep smiling with my illness, but don’t “start” me with untruths.
A simple question of when supplies would resume for dialysis patients at UTH by Hon Sebastian Kopulande prompted this response from the Minister of Health Dr Jonas Chanda and I quote him verbatim. You can fact check me with the Hansard of Thursday 29th April 2021.
“I think my response is very simple. We have two platforms for dialysis. We have the Fresenius and the Braun. So what the honorable member is referring to the Augusta is one company who had a contract on one platform, I think that’s the Fresenius machines eh. We have the Braun, but even that contractor is still supplying emergency supplies.
The contractual issues are being looked into because government actually has a plan to expand dialysis centers.
We have a plan to expand up to sixteen from nine to sixteen we are currently at 12, so that is a very important program for us Madam speaker, and renal dialysis is going on as we talk whether at UTH or at Ndola in all the twelve centers, but we use which platforms are available at each particular time.”
Which planet is he from and which platform is he talking about, I wonder. Supplies have stopped at UTH. There are no emergency supplies taking place. The only fluids being used were the ones donated by the Kidney Foundation through the Chair on 23rd April last week (picture below).
The Fresenius contract is still unsigned. Augusta is the company that supplies the Fresenius brand of fluids for their machines, but all fluids are not available at UTH. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Fresenius or Braun.
Dialysis has to be done every day for PD patients and three times a week for HD. UTH cut the number of times to once a week and instead of a four hour session this has been reduced to two hours.
This reduction was announced in parliament by then Minister of Health Chilufya Chitalu last year prompted again by Hon Sebastian Kopulande MP and Hon Jack Mwiimbu MP.
Patients are dying because of lack of dialysis. I am sure that the figure of 338 HD patients announced by the Minister is not accurate factoring in the dead. PD has not been available in the last five weeks and so the 12 patients who are on this type of dialysis including me have been advised to switch to HD.
Without dialysis a lot of complications have arisen which are fatal. I am very upset, yes, because he doesn’t know and has no idea what we are going through. Mr Minister have a heart. We are also human and Zambian.