Dialysis treatment increases for Samoans

The demand for dialysis treatment for both local residents and overseas Samoans has increased.  

This was highlighted in the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa (NKFS) Annual Report for the Financial Year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.  

According to the report, there were 43 new patients who have commenced dialysis treatment compared to 39 in the 2016-2017 financial year. And during that year (2017-2018) 20 patients died, while the NKFS as of June 30, 2018 had 119 permanent patients – seven in Tuasivi and 112 at the Motootua unit.  

The report also stated that acute dialysis was administered to 22 patients at the National Health Service during the 2017-2018 financial year and a total of 95 (72 in the previous year) of “holiday patients” were administered a total of 351 dialysis treatments.

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The 2017/2018 Financial Year also saw a continued increase in the demand for dialysis – both local residents and overseas Samoans – according to a statement signed by the NKFS general manager, Mulipola Lose Hazelman.

“Despite these challenges, the Foundation was able to continue and extend its Preventive Services. The proposed relocation to a larger premises, coupled with the graduating of the initial Dialysis Technician class in December 2018, would definitely reduce the pressures of limited space and overworked staff." 

“In addition, the employment of a Manager for Medical Services and a permanent Physician has helped greatly in ensuring that patients are well looked after and Preventive Services greatly enhanced,” he added. 

There is also a need to improve the Foundation’s services and policy formulation, Mulipola added, as NKFS has started a working in partnership with medical students from the National University of Samoa in areas of clinical audits and research.

“It is further hoped that a ‘sister unit’ relationship would greatly enhance the Foundation’s researching capabilities, so that effective measures could be promoted in the fight against non-communicable diseases, which is the major cause of kidney failure."

“The challenges Samoa currently faces with regards to limitations of access to specialist medical expertise continues to force the Foundation to look outside for help in this area. In this regard, Government’s recent agreements with Apollo Hospital chain from India would be an additional source of technical know-how and reference point, in Government’s efforts to promote kidney transplant as a long term alternative,” he added.

Mulipola also stressed that the Foundation will continue to work towards having other alternatives to hemodialysis, so that Samoan people would have a choice of renal replacement therapy, and hopefully improve their standards of life.

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