Lamu, KENYA: Lamu County has conducted its first-ever successful dialysis and CT scans on the first five renal patients from the region.
The treatment took place at the recently launched Dialysis and Computer Topography-CT scan center at the Lamu King Fahad hospital in Lamu island.
The sh.1.1 billion equipment procured by the national government under the Managed Equipment Services-MES program was officially commissioned two weeks ago by Health CS Sicily Kariuki.
The dialysis treatments are the first ever in Lamu County for the past 55 years of independence.
Speaking at his office at the hospital on Tuesday, County Director for Health Services David Mulewa said all the patients are progressing well and are still on medication.
Normally, patients requiring dialysis in Lamu have had to be referred to Mombasa or Nairobi, a costly and strenuous affair for the patients and their families.
Mulewa now says the hospital is able to effectively deal with all dialysis patients at the facility without having to refer a single case outside.
He said the center receives at least five renal patients a day, some of whom are treated and allowed to leave while the most serious ones get admitted at the spacious facility.
Generally, the launch of the new unit has seen increased patient numbers flock the hospital for various treatments.
“We never knew that so many people needed these services. We have successfully conducted our first five pilot treatments, two CT scans and three dialysis and our patients are doing just fine. Patients here no longer need to go outside to seek these services because we are doing everything right here. We continue to receive at least five renal and CT scan patients daily and we are glad we can deal with the situation,” said Mulewa.
He, however, said the fully furnished Renal and CT scan center was a big milestone in the provision of health services in a region that has remained marginalized by successive governments for decades resulting in poor infrastructure for the most sensitive sectors like health.
Mulewa said to ensure the effectiveness of services using the new MES equipment, the county had trained seven medical staff from different cadres at the Kenyatta National Hospital-KNH who were now working round the clock to ensure patients requiring dialysis and CT scan services are promptly attended to.
He said the county had also advertised three vacancies for specialists to work at the facility.
“Some of our staff have already been trained at KNH but at the middle level. Advertisement for upper-level specialists is already out. So far, we have no challenges on the side of machine functionality except for the consumables which are expensive and some are not readily available, otherwise, so far so good,” said Mulewa.
Mohamed Mzee,67, who was the first dialysis patient at the facility shortly after it was launched said he was more optimistic and was looking forward to living a healthy and fulfilled life after a successful dialysis.
Mzee says the initial thought that he would have to go to KNH in Nairobi for his dialysis had broken his heart considering he did not have the fiancés to cater for the long journey and expensive treatment.
“When I was told I no longer had to go to Nairobi, you can imagine the relief I felt. I have started by dialysis and have never felt better in my life. We can save all the money and efforts we would have used to go all the way to Nairobi. Its a good thing to have such services so close and affordable too,” said Mzee.