The government of Uganda has been advised to train more kidney doctors (nephrologists) and also equip regional health centres to handle patients with kidneys complications.
The call was made by the Vice Chairperson of the House Committee on Health Spellanza Baguma, who was addressing the media on Monday ahead of Parliament celebrations to mark the World Kidney Day.
She said there was need to establish regional dialysis centres to handle patients that require the services.
Dialysis is the clinical purification of blood, as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney. It is recommended for patients, whose kidneys cannot sufficiently and normally do the purification.
Baguma, who is also the Kyenjojo district woman representative, said that there is an increase in kidney related illnesses amidst inadequate services.
“Kidney related diseases are a big problem in our country and yet very little has been said about it. Our leaders do not know that it is happening,” she said.
The press conference was jointly addressed by Dr. Joseph Gyagenda, Head of Nephrology unit at St. Francis Hospital, Nsambya.
“For the young children, we do not have dialysis services at all, meaning that for those families which do not have finances to seek treatment abroad, the children wait for death,” said Baguma.
About one quarter or 21.4 per cent of Ugandans suffer from kidney related diseases, with less than one percent being treated due to inadequate dialysis services in the country.
Dr. Gyagenda proposed that government should budget for establishment of regional dialysis centers countrywide to avert the shortage.
Currently, there are only two regional dialysis centers in the country, including Mbarara and Kiruddu hospitals.
“Government needs only Shs560 million to set up dialysis centers countrywide. This is clearly affordable, and given the money it saves, there is an urgent need for scaling up of these services,” said Gyagenda.