Increasing number of dialysis patients alarm

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 May 2017, 12:00AM

The increasing number of young people undergoing dialysis treatment has concerned the National Kidney Foundation Samoa (N.K.F.S). 

The concern was revealed in their annual report for the financial year ending June 2016. A copy of the report obtained by the Samoa Observer says the increasing number will put pressure on N.K.F’s resources in the long run.

“Given an increase in the number of younger people, 30 – 50 years needing dialysis, N.K.F.S is investigating a pathway to renal transplant.” 

“The younger the patients are, the longer they will need to be on dialysis and N.K.F.S needs to research into avenues to help our young people who may need this service.” 

“Results of research on transplant and its associated costs should be made available in the next year.” 

The report, says research is underway for the Foundation to establish a programme that will enable renal transplant as an option available in Samoa. 

The Foundation is  exploring the option of renal transplant to help these young people live quality fulfilling lives as normal as is possible. 

A total of 103 permanent local patients were given dialysis during the financial year, 16 passed away and that dialysis treatments were administered to 101 visitors to Samoa, and 10 acute N.H.S patients.  

The Foundation is concerned that “more and more Samoans living overseas visit as dialysis could be administered here.”  

“Acute dialysis has become an important curative assistance to the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U) of the N.H.S.” 

“Chances for survival has greatly improved as dialysis gives the ICU physicians extra time to give more accurate diagnosis and appropriate patient management.”  

The report points to a recent N.K.F.S study, in collaboration with Medical students of the N.U.S where 1,093 people were screened in 2014 indicated that 11.5% of that number had Chronic Kidney Disease (C.K.D). 

“The study also indicated the close relationship between Non Communicable Diseases (N.C.Ds) and C.K.D. The results of the 2012 Ministry of Health’s S.T.E.P.S survey suggesting that the prevalence of N.C.Ds have increased over the 2002 survey, the number of people with CKD will also increase and the only mode of renal replacement offered is haemodialysis.” 




The N.K.F.S continues to push its interventions for people found to have C.K.D. The foundation emphasizes the need to change lifestyles, treating patients so that C.K.D does not go through to end stage renal failure and also preparing patient for life on dialysis.

The report points to the real emergence of Acute Dialysis as an important part of the curative efforts of the Medical Team at the National Health Services. “However, this service has put a considerable strain on the Foundation’s resources and negotiations will need to be done with NHS on this issue.” 

“It is obvious, as evident by the trends over the years that the demand for dialysis will continue to increase.”

“This demand is not confined to only local people with end stage renal failure, but most significantly, from overseas Samoans and from N.H.S for Acute dialysis.”

N.K.F.S recognises the importance of Preventive measures in order to retard or delay the need for dialysis and is continually engaged in secondary prevention programs at its predialysis clinics. 

In addition, N.K.F.S in collaboration with other health providers offer primary health comprehensive screenings to identify those with N.C.Ds and follow up for further needed tests and counselling. 

This has proved effective in the last years and continuous vigorous awareness and prevention programs in future will have an impact for the next 10 years in reducing kidney and kidney related problems. 

Given its capacity issues and the mandate to service the need for dialysis, N.K.F.S needs a bigger building for optimal utilisation of its limited nursing staff and equipment.  The current N.K.F.S building as it is “slowly becoming inefficient for the different functions of the Foundation.” 

“Of course this would be obvious as the building was not built for the housing of a dialysis service.”  

Fewer nurses will be needed at one shift in the one building instead of being separated as is the current practice. 

An alternative which the Foundation is exploring is the use of enrolled nurses as Technicians to enable them to do needling like the registered nurses to assist with the increasing demands.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 May 2017, 12:00AM

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