Government Provides Major Relief for Kidney Patients

Caption: Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma and Medical Director of Zen?s Medical?Center? Dr Zen Low signing the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for the Western Dialysis?Center. Photo By ASHTOSH SINGH

By ASHTOSH SINGH

A call of relief came to many patients seeking dialysis treatment from the western division who had to previously travel all the way to Suva for their treatment.

On Wednesday, September 4, Zens Medical Centre in Nadi achieved a milestone when it signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Ministry of Health through Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma.

The centre would not have existed if it was not for the vision of Dr Zen Low and the Smith family of Musket Cove Island Resort.

Late Dick Smith who was a pioneer of Fiji?s tourism industry suffered from renal failure and the centre was established to take care of his needs together with many other patients for whom treatment would have been out of reach otherwise.

A special salute also goes to ANZ for funding the project in its infant days.

?I thank the government and the ministry for the contribution towards the people in the west, we would also like to give to the community and do something to help the people from our side,? Medical Director of Zen?s Medical Centre Dr Zen Low said.

The centre has now partnered with the Ministry of Health to provide treatment for twenty five patients from the western division who are ongoing with the treatment on a weekly basis for a period of three months.

?The government has strict guidelines and we cannot go on chronic dialysis treatment continually , while during the three months period the patient can decide to get a transplant or not,? Dr Neil Sharma said.

?We are talking with the stakeholders and coming up with laws on transplant procedures and trying to make kidney transplants also available in Fiji,? added Dr Sharma.

Dr Sharma also highlighted the need for people to eat and live healthy to in order to prevent themselves from being common victims of NCD?s (Non-communicable Diseases).

The next step for the Ministry would be to focus on opening a dialysis centre at the Lautoka Hospital intensive care unit (ICU) followed by the opening of another dialysis centre in Labasa.

There are more than 300 million people in the world including Fiji who are suffering from diabetes and NCD?s while almost 70 to 80 percent of these people come from the Asia Pacific region according to Dr Zen Low.