Saturday, December 2, 2017
Kidney sufferers now gets a relief in Tanzania
AS the first patient to undergo kidney operation at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) the biggest ever hospital in country was discharged on Thursday this week, specialists have assured the public that the hospital is now equipped to conduct safe and successful surgeries. This has actually given a relief for kidney sufferers in the country who now will have access to the medical treatment over the disease in the country. Unlike before, such treatments were rare. Last week, Tanzania’s health sector opened a new chapter with the first kidney transplant, which was successfully performed to a 30-year old lady at the national health facility. The specialists also took the opportunity to advise those who are hesitant to donate their kidney not to be terrified since it has no side effects. “Signing up to be a donor can be one of the most impactful things you can ever do, just look at how itwould change the lives of those on the waiting list; we thank God our first surgery was successful in our country,” said Nephrologist at MNH, Dr Jacqueline Shoo. Dr Shoo said people can live normal lives with only one kidney as long as the donor is evaluated thoroughly and cleared for donation, he or she can lead a normal life after the surgery. When they remove one kidney does not imply it is the end of life. All costs of the surgery were paid by the government which amounted to 21m/- while if the patient had been flown abroad, more than 80-100m/- could have been used for the same purpose. On 21 November 2017, specialists at MNH in collaboration with BLK Supper Specialist Hospital of India performed the first kidney transplant to Prisca Mwingira, a teacher at Mikese Secondary School in Morogoro Region. The donor of the kidney was a 27-year old man, who is the patient’s brother, Batholomeyo Mwingira. Since it was the first case, the specialist did not choose a high-risk patient. The retrieval and the kidney transplant which are two different surgeries took place simultaneously. Dr Shoo said the patient was suffering from end-stage kidney disease and had been on haemodialysis for over a year. “Today, we have allowed her to go home, both donor and recipient are recuperating well and should return to normal activities, the patient can urinate normally and eat normally; the patient should focus on hygiene, taking medications as directed and eating foods counselled,” said Dr Shoo. Ms Mwingira while shading tears said it was such an honour to be given a second chance by God and thanked the government, surgeons and his brother. “As you can see me now I am in good health and can go on with my routine, as usual, I thank my brother for his heart to donate a kidney for me,” she said. She further said that at times, she gave up but doctors were always there to encourage her, other patients undergoing dialysis should not give up as there was hope for them within the country. Expounding further, she said the government should keep on supporting MNH to conduct more surgeries and save people’s lives without going abroad. The preparation for the first transplant began a year ago, with the training of 33 doctors from Tanzania in New Delhi. A Nephrologist at MNH, Dr Onesmo Kissanga, said they have 56 kidney patients in their department waiting for transplant services. “About 60 to 70 patients undergoing dialysis at the facility are in need of such services which is the best option; we are glad that the first transplant is a success,” he noted.