Expedite kidney disease eradication - President

President Maithripala Sirisena inaugurating a drinking water project in Horowpothana last week. Picture by Sudath Silva.

Staff shortage to run forty available dialysis machines:

President Maithripala Sirisena has focused his attention on eradicating the spreading kidney disease in the North Central Province.

The North Central Provincial Health Services Director and staff appraised the President, ministers and senior healthcare authorities about the gravity of the situation, the shortcomings in disease prevention programmes and immediate medical care requirements in the NCP during the President’s recent official tour to Horowpothana.

Action will be taken to provide sufficient trained staff including doctors and nurses to Kebithigollewa, Thambuttegama, Medawachchiya, Medirigiriya and Hingurakgoda hospitals where kidney disease treatment units with 40 dialysis machines are available. The machines are not functioning due to the dearth of staff.

Provincial Health Services Director Dr. Palitha Bandara referring to the spread of the kidney disease told the Daily News that testing blood samples of those less than 20 years in the NCP will be accelerated. He said already the first round of blood tests of 390,000 people have been completed and around 8,000 persons are suspected of falling prey to the disease are being referred for further clinical tests.

According to him, in the Anuradhapura district alone, blood tests of 600,000 persons are required to be done under this programme.

“We are planning to strengthen mobile blood testing units at grassroot level with the assistance of available staff including medical health officers and are waiting for more healthcare facilities through the Presidential Secretariat and the Health Ministry to complete this task by 2020. It is our aim to stop the increase in the number of kidney patients which is now at the rate of 4,000 or more per year. However, the death rate of kidney patients is decreasing. Carrying out extensive and intensive medical care programmes, doing away with poisonous agro-chemicals, taking to carbonic cultivation and making potable drinking water available are measures instrumental in curbing the menace,” Dr. Palitha Bandara said. 

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