NEWS that the University Teaching Hospital is ready to conduct the first-ever kidney transplants before the end of the year is a positive indication of the
advancements that are taking place in our country.
Kidney problems are prevalent in our country, with some of the patients ending up on dialysis, a daily process they have to undergo at great cost.
Kidney or renal disease has been recognised by the World Health Organisation and other international organisations as one of the public health issues.
It is said that 10 percent of the world population suffers from some form of kidney damage and chronic kidney diseases is estimated to increase by 17 percent over the next decade.
With such indications, the need to take measures to bring down the prevalence of the diseases should be commended as a step in the right direction.
According to UTH Adult Hospital senior medical superintendent, Dr Clarence Chiluba, Zambia has the equipment and the personnel to conduct kidney transplant.
We know that our medical doctors are exposed to superior training at the Ridgeway campus and that is why a number of them excel when they go to practise abroad.
Moreover, it is not an understatement that Zambian doctors are highly sought after, with some of them making a name in their practice abroad.
We appreciate their services at all levels in our health institutions, considering that they work under difficult conditions and it is commendable when they stretch their efforts to exploit new areas of making a breakthrough.
In recognition of the doctor’s efforts, Government has been procuring equipment to make it easy for the doctors to carry out their work.
According to Dr Chiluba, the Ministry of Health has enhanced the renal dialysis services at various hospitals because of the powerful equipment Government has supplied.
On their part, the medical personnel, who have received training on renal matters, have also conducted a number of trainings for medical personnel from other countries.
This means they are sharing their knowledge with others in their field in an effort to improve the healthcare delivery system in the region.
With such efforts, we are confident that the region is headed for success in handling renal issues, which will also result in better health for the people.
With this knowledge in our local doctors, chances to refer a kidney patient abroad for treatment are slowly becoming slim.
Dr Chiluba said for now, UTH was managing patients who had been operated on in India and with the development, the hospital will move a step further to conducting the operations.
Apart from hoisting the medical profile of the nation, the success of conducting kidney transplants locally will save lives and thousands of Kwacha from being spent on medical treatment abroad.
We also see the move by our doctors as a form of medical tourism, whereby some patients in the neighbouring countries where kidney transplants cannot be done may find their way to UTH.
In this way, our nation will earn some income, which will go to the nation’s coffers.
We want to urge Government to continue supporting our medical personnel because they are showing that they can do much more if they have the necessary assistance.
We also urge Zambians, at large, to adopt healthy lifestyles and take measures early to prevent acute situations that call for kidney transplants.