BY KENNETH NYANGANI
GOVERNMENT has announced plans to scale-up the provision of dialysis machines at public hospitals to better serve the increasing number of kidney patients.
Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo made the disclosure in a speech read on his behalf during World Kidney Day commemorations at Mutare Provincial Hospital on Thursday last week.
The World Kidney Day is a global health campaign celebrated annually on March 14, and focuses on the health and importance of kidneys, to reduce occurrence of kidney diseases as well as other related health complications.
“Zimbabwe has more than 2 000 patients with chronic kidney diseases. Despite the growing burden of kidney diseases in Zimbabwe, kidney, health disparity and inequality are still widespread,” he said
“The Ministry of Health has plans to scale-up dialysis machines in Zimbabwe and thereby improve the outcomes of patients with kidney diseases,” he said.
“However, while national policies and strategies for non-communicable diseases in general are present in many countries, specific policies directed toward screening, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases are often lacking,” he said.
Moyo said his ministry was advocating for screening for kidney diseases as a primary healthcare intervention and also ensuring that patients receive basic health services.
He called on citizens to adopt healthy lifestyles, including the use of clean water, exercise, a healthy diet and tobacco consumption control.
“We want to make screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention including access to identification tools, urine and blood tests,” he added.
An estimated 850 million people are believed to have kidney challenges worldwide.