Government steps up fight against kidney diseases

Mombasa, Kenya 29 September,2017 – The Government has installed additional 49 dialysis units across the country to enhance access to nephrology services.

Each of the units which were installed in collaboration with county governments has at least 5 dialysis machines, and when fully operational shall translate into a capacity of 490 dialysis sessions per day in addition to the current services both in private and public sector.

In total there are now 74 dialysis facilities in the country, both in government and  private sector said Dr. Cleopa Mailu, the Cabinet Secretary for Health,during the official opening of the 14th Annual Scientific Conference of the Kenya Renal Association and the launch of nephrology programme  in Mombasa .

The CS decried over the dual burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases including Kidney diseases.

Estimates show that 4 million Kenyans have chronic kidney disease with a significant proportion of this population progressing to kidney failure.

“Out of these, about 10,000 people have end stage renal disease and require dialysis, yet only 10% of those who need dialysis are able to access the services,” he disclosed.

The CS remarks were read by the Head of Preventive and Promotive Health, Dr. David Soti.

He noted that the Government is aware of the country’s dire need to improve all aspects of nephrology services alongside other allied disciplines such as urology, anesthesia and nutrition.

“We have taken steps to bridge the gap and fight the kidney diseases and its negative effects on health and the economy,” said Dr. Mailu.

To complement the expansion and physical facilities, the CS disclosed that the government is addressing the need to improve skills for nephrology services among health workers and increase the numbers handling patients with Kidney diseases.

“In this regard, I want to commend all the training institutions in the Country, the Universities, the middle level colleges and the teaching hospitals for collaborating to launch and develop additional courses in nephrology, urology and allied disciplines,” he noted.

Through collaboration, advanced courses in medicine and surgery such as Urology, Fellowship in Nephrology and Higher Diploma in Renal nursing are now available at the University of Nairobi, with Kenyatta National Hospital as the principle clinical teaching facility.

The CS revealed that to improve access to specialized clinical services, the government has embraced collaboration at the regional level to develop centers of excellence. He  urged other medical professionals in the country and within the East Africa region to take advantage of the new opportunities for training in nephrology and urology.

He also commended the county governments as key health service providers in the country for releasing their health workers to undertake the courses offered through these additional facilities.

The conference whose theme is “Toward excellence in renal care and Education in developing countries” is the First Joint Conference of the East Africa Centres’ of Excellence (EACE) bringing together renal experts from the region. The aim of the conference is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and enhance efforts for prevention, control and management of Kidney diseases in Kenya and the region.