The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie, has announced that eight (8) new machines will be sent to the Bamenda Haemodialysis Centre Tuesday January 5, 2021 so that treatment of kidney patients can resume.
He made the announcement through a tweet Monday.
Kidney patients in Bamenda and its environs were uncertain about their health situation after the Haemodialysis centre of the Bamenda Regional Hospital was temporally shut down according to the Director of the Hospital.
In a release issued by the Director of of the hospital, Dr Denis Nsame, said the centre was close down following an “acute breakdown of the machines in the dialysis centre.”
The release stated that “…dialysis patients in particular, should note that due to unforeseen acute breakdown of the machines in the dialysis centre, the haemodialysis centre has been temporarily closed and patients transferred to other general and regional hospitals of the country pending a lasting solution to the machines of the centre.”
The director has urged the patients to seek medical assistance in other regions.
The announcement on Sunday, left hundreds of patients whose life depend on the dialysis, in great disappointment.
“I don’t understand how a government can be so careless about the lives of people to a point that all dialysis machines will breakdown without any replacement,” a patient in Bamenda lamented.
With the observation of the traditional ghost town yesterday Monday, some kidney patients complained they could not travel out of the region to seek medical assistance elsewhere.
There have been questions if kidney patients frail in their health conditions, will have the necessary resources and strength to travel to other regions to seek the life-support medical assistance.
The North West Regional Delegate for Public Health has denied any closure of the centre.
”The population of the North West region is hereby informed that…the Haemodialysis centre of the regional hospital has not been closed.” the communique signed by the delegate, Dr Kingsley Che Soh read.
“Rather, the haemodialysis machines which have been serving patients for more than eight years now are progressively being replaced… and new machines shall go operational in the days ahead.” it further stated.
Viral news of the breakdown had kept patients worried about their survival in the days ahead as no alternative means of treatment was proposed.
The Bamenda haemodialysis centre hosts hundreds of patients suffering from especially kidney infections and such patients are in need of delicate and intensive care needing to undergo haemodialysis at least twice weekly to enable their urinary system to function.
The frustrated patients whose survival depend on dialysis risk dying if the dialysis machines are not replaced soon, medics say.
A similar breakdown of machines at the Buea Regional Hospital haemodialysis centre in 2019 was only reinstated weeks after patients threatened to protest.
Mismanagement and lack of maintenance services have been blamed for the frequent breakdown of such intensive care machines, though the government advanced different reasons.