The Health Minister, Hon. Kailash Kumar Jagutpal inaugurated a new Haemodialysis Unit at the New Souillac on 10 March 2022 in the presence of the WHO Representative, Dr Laurent Musango and other personalities to mark World Kidney Day in Mauritius. This new Unit comprising 22 haemodialysis machines has the capacity to accommodate around 150 patients and aims at decentralizing further the treatment of patients suffering from kidney disease.
Some 1,500 patients in Mauritius undergo dialysis treatment in the five Regional Hospitals, the New Souillac Hospital, the Long Mountain Hospital, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Rodrigues. The Ministry of Health and Wellness also collaborates with private clinics to accommodate more patients with the increasing number of patients requiring dialysis treatment.
In his address, Dr Hon. Jagutpal emphasized the importance of sensitizing the population on kidney diseases and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The Health Minister explained that the Government disbursed some Rs 150 million to enable 250 patients to undergo dialysis treatment in private clinics. He urged the population to take advantage of the numerous sports facilities put at their disposal across the country.
Dr Laurent Musango, the WHO Representative in Mauritius highlighted, “the high NCD burden in Mauritius and the disastrous impact of uncontrolled diabetes on the kidney function.” He added that many of the NCDs when uncontrolled can impact severely on kidney function. “Creating awareness about the kidney is very crucial first to prevent kidney diseases but also to allow patients with kidney disease to live well – with less suffering possible,” said the WHO Representative.
In Mauritius, many people with co-morbidities suffered severe forms of COVID-19, and unfortunately, last year, we counted dialysis patients among those who died of COVID-19. Thus, the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “I urge the population to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and also to get your booster dose on time to protect you against COVID-19. This should be a priority for all of us, especially those with comorbidities and older people who are more vulnerable,” said Dr Musango.
Dr Musango explained by addressing the high prevalence of NCD risk factors in Mauritius, we can prevent diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases but also, delay the onset of those diseases, and severe complications.
The WHO Representative advocated for more effective and more integrated and holistic symptom management for all patients with kidney disease to enable them and their care partners to live a better health-related quality of life. He expressed WHO support to the national efforts in improving the care of patients with kidney disease but also the need to empower patients with chronic kidney diseases and their family members or other care partners so that they live with less suffering possible.
Numerous projects are in the pipeline in view of improving renal health in the country. These include the opening of a Renal Transplant Unit and a new Haemodialysis Unit which will be equipped with 50 machines at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Rose Belle; extension of the Haemodialysis Unit at Candos Hospital to the tune of some Rs 15,5 million; and setting up of a New Haemodialysis Unit at SSRN Hospital where 50 machines will be installed. The new Flacq Hospital under construction will be equipped with 50 dialysis machines and the Bel Air Mediclinic with 10 machines. In addition, the dialysis machines which date more than 10 years are continuously been replaced. For further capacity building, a course in nephrology is being offered to nurses by the Mauritius Institute of Health.
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