KENYA – Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has called for people to undergo early screening for chronic kidney disease (CKD) to allow implementation of therapeutic interventions which reduces the high mortality associated with CKD.

Chronic kidney disease is a serious condition affecting 1 out of 10 adult people with often overlooked symptoms which result in health complications including kidney failure and death if left untreated.

It has become a serious public health issue both in developing and developed countries where currently over 1.4 million patients are receiving renal replacement therapy worldwide.

Recently, the government unveiled a new renal center with a 16-bed capacity at KNH just in time to commemorate the 2022 World Kidney Day under the theme “Kidney Health for All”.

The renal center targets at closing knowledge gaps hindering kidney care as well as improving kidney health by increasing public awareness and education about kidney care in Kenya.

The new facility includes a dialysis clinic, pre-transplant clinic and post-transplant clinic among other services aimed at reducing the economic burden of chronic kidney disease with early intervention.

During the celebrations at the hospital administration grounds, KNH Board of Management Chairman George Ooko revealed that the hospital currently offers interventional radiology procedures which are advancement in medicine that often replace open surgical procedures.

Our Intervention Radiologists are able to go through a small vessel, through a small cut and give chemotherapy drugs directly into the tumor,” George explained.

Kenyatta National Hospital has called for individuals suffering from a tumor in the liver or a hole in the heart to avail themselves at the facility for treatment incorporating the advanced procedures.

KNH Pediatric Nephrologist Bashir Adhaman stressed that there was a crucial need to make kidney transplantation available and affordable for children while urging the public to be advocates of kidney health for themselves and for children.

The new renal facility has shown outcomes for kidney transplants in KNH that compare to those in India hence Kenyans don’t need to go out of the country for kidney transplants,” he emphasized.

In addition, the government has distributed dialysis machines across the country through the managed equipment services while KNH is training professionals to handle the machines as well as training doctors for different cadres in the medical profession.

With the operationalization of the new renal center, specialists will target two to three transplants per week for patients from Kenya and outside the region in comparison to the eight kidney transplants conducted from June to December 2021.

The renal center also has an immunology laboratory for tissue matching for kidney donors and the recipients which ensures that medics get results in 24 hours making treatment easier as well as cheaper for patients.

The facility seeks to address the challenge of Kenyans travelling outside the county for expensive kidney treatment by providing cheap and accessible renal services.

It will further address the backlog in treating patients to avoid a prior situation where patients in the waiting list outnumbered patients in treatment, all in dire need of dialysis machines and other facilities.

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