Mulago to Start Kidney Transplants in October

Mulago hospital says it will carry out its first ever kidney transplant this October.

This follows intensive training of 15 specialists including urologists, nephrologists and nurses in aspects of kidney transplant at Yashoda Hospital in India. Kidney transplant is recommended for patients with end-stage renal disease or terminal renal failure. This is the last stage of kidney disease, where dialysis and kidney transplant are the only treatment options.

Today, Mulago hospital only conducts dialysis, where a person’s blood is routed across an artificial membrane that cleanses it thus removing substances that would normally be excreted in urine.

“This October, a specialist will start carrying out kidney transplants here and the 65 patients currently undergoing dialysis will have to transit to kidney transplant because they cannot be on dialysis all their life,” said Dr Byarugaba Baterana, Mulago hospital’s executive director.

Baterana said the new development would greatly cut costs of having the transplants in India. Patients undergoing transplant in Uganda would spend Shs 6m instead of the $22,000 (Shs 56m) required to have the operation abroad.

Although the hospital’s renal unit is capable of handling 75 dialysis cases a day, it handles between 20 and 40 cases because many patients cannot afford the cost of dialysis – Shs 60,000 per session. In fact, many patients are put on dialysis twice or once a week instead of the recommended three times.

Moses Odongo, a renal nurse at Mulago, says that kidney failure can be a result of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and self-medication with drugs like aspirin or diclofenac.

Source : The Observer

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