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Aber Hospital Gets Peritoneal Dialysis Unit in Lango :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Aber Hospital Gets Peritoneal Dialysis Unit in Lango

The hospital located in Kamdin Sub-county installed the three machines in November last year when the first patient was admitted.
Dr Nixon Onyanga explaining how the peritoneal dialysis machine works (Photo by Immaculate Amony)

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St John XXIII Hospital Aber in Oyam District has started peritoneal dialysis services in Northern Uganda.

The hospital located in Kamdin Sub-county installed the three machines in November last year when the first patient was admitted. Peritoneal dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure during which the waste products are removed from the blood using dialysate, a cleansing fluid administered into the peritoneum through the abdomen.

The fluid acts as a filter and removes wastes from blood after a set amount of time as the filtered waste flows out of the abdomen and is thrown away. Unlike hemodialysis, an advantage of peritoneal dialysis is that regular visits to a dialysis unit are not required, and there are also fewer restrictions on diet and fluid intake for people having peritoneal dialysis compared with those having hemodialysis.

Presiding over the launch, Health Minister Dr. Jane Aceng Ocero applauded the hospital and all the other Private Not-for-profit health facilities for complimenting services offered by the government. She said that more patients with kidney complications will be able to access dialysis services from Aber.

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Dr. Aceng also asked the community to embrace regular medical checkups to avoid acute kidney injuries.

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Between January to March 2023, St John Hospital Aber managed 45 kidney cases; 18 were chronic while 27 were people with acute kidney injuries among whom seven passed on.

Dr. Ronald M. Kasyaba, Assistant Executive Secretary at Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB) tasked the Hospital’s Board of Governors to initiate quality indicators for the dialysis unit and asked the Ministry of Health to set up a regulatory body for facilities offering specialized services.

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Fr. Dr. Sam Okori, the Hospital's Medical Director explained that the unit is well equipped with technologies and human resources to manage it. Adding that their focus will be on acute kidney injuries to prevent more cases of chronic kidney disease which is complicated and costlier to the patients.

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According to the hospital, patients with chronic kidney disease will pay between 80,000 to 120,000 shillings per dialysis session depending on the severity while those with acute kidney injuries will pay close to 4.5 million Shillings for three months of constant treatment.

Since the dialysate is not supplied by the Joint Medical Stores, Fr. Dr. Okori explained that the hospital will be importing it from Europe.

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Monsignor Valente Innocent Opio, the Vicar General of Lira Diocese rallied the general public to support the operation of the hospital with whatever little they could give.

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Caroline Agaro, the Assistant DHO in charge of Environmental Health in Oyam cited challenges like inadequate staffing and poor remunerations which affect the operations of private health facilities.

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Dr. Otim Tom Charles, the Hospital’s chairperson of the Board of Governors expressed disappointment over some patients escaping from the hospital without paying their medical bills.

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Nomi Otyeno, a resident of Oyam district is excited about the developments at Aber Hospital saying the dialysis services will save many people transport and other expenses incurred while seeking for the same service outside Lango.

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The hospital offers other services like General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, 24-hour Emergency Services, and specialized investigations such as CT scan, Cardiac Echo, Digital X-ray, and Ultrasound services.