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Dialysis Patients Protest Over Absence Of Ultra-pure Water

Yaounde hospital

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo

Some Cameroonians suffering from kidney failures, undergoing treatment at the Yaounde Central Hospital, have protested over the absence of ultra-pure water used for dialysis.

Staging a sit-down protest in the hospital on October 20, patients, among other complaints, indicated that the water used for dialysis treatment is of poor quality, supplied by the national water supply company, Camwater, noted for incessant water supply interruptions.

Public Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie, officially inaugurated 10 new hemodialysis machines at the Central Hospital on September 15. The capacity of the water treatment system was said to have been upgraded to produce water for over 20 dialysis machines as compared to before when it could provide for just eight machines.

However, in a letter dated October 21, addressed to the Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, a group of patients indicated four major problems they are facing going on with their treatment.

Besides the absence of ultra-pure water, patients said, there are insufficient generators, compared to the number of patients available as well as the disruption of dialysis sessions for the last one month.

Talking to The Post, one of the patients, sitting under scorching sun, said they were expecting everything to be fine following the inauguration of 10 machines last month, but the situation is getting extremely difficult. To the patient, one dialysis session that is supposed to last for four hours has been reduced to three hours by the hospital.

“The situation is really difficult for us, because, we are supposed to have dialysis sessions thrice a week, but we have to wait for eight and sometimes 10 days to have dialysis. What do you expect when we stay that long without having a dialysis session? People will die and we are tired of all these.”

Besides raising problems in the letter sent to the PM, the patients also proposed solutions. They, among other things called on the authorities to set up two or three halls containing water for dialysis.,

They also proposed that a borehole be dug to provide ultra-pure water for dialysis, while indicating that generators should be increased as only eight out of 25 generators are in use. There should also be a creation of a committee to manage dialysis in Cameroon. Nevertheless, some kidney patients are currently on dialysis despite the current challenges.

Administrative authorities came to the scene to solve the problem and, after holding a meeting with the patients and the hospital administration, the Director of the hospital accompanied by the SDO of Mfoundi, told patients that he will seek solutions to their problems in the coming weeks, but not all of them will be solved within the given time.

Protesting in front of hospitals by kidney patients is a regular feature in Cameroon. Even though the government has promised and worked towards solving the problem, continuous call for a permanent solution to the issue is what the patients want.

Observers hold that the inability of the Government in giving an ear to the cry of patients suffering from kidney failures and other issues, is a sign that the government is not taking care of its citizens. To them, they find so much pleasure in embezzling rather than taking care of their citizens.

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