Nation Published on: August 20, 2006
The strained dialysis unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been seeing an increase in Barbadians with renal failure, forcing it to treat up to 120 patients in a facility which can only cater to a maximum of 84.
However, thanks to the Rotary Club of Barbados, a new Renal Dialysis Unit will be constructed at the hospital to the tune of $400,000. It will feature 20 dialysis machines, an additional six, to complement the 14 currently in use.
Consultant nephrologist at the hospital, Emile Mohammed said the increase in end-stage renal failure was due to the prevalence of obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
He said the new unit, which should be completed by mid-October, was needed urgently, and the additional dialysis machines would ensure patient care was not compromised.
"We are now at the fall-out period where we are seeing a lot of end-stage renal failure. What's disconcerting, is that it has not hit a steady stage yet, so we don't know where it is going to plateau off.
"In our old dialysis unit, we have a maximum capacity of 84 patients. At present, we dialyse up to 120 patients, so you can understand the need for this project, it is an absolute necessity. "We need to get it up and running as soon as possible because we have patients who need dialysis here and now," the doctor said during a tour of the soon-to-be renovated space located on the ground floor of the hospital.
The tour party also included Rotary District Governor Victor Pilgrim; Donville Inniss, president of Rotary West; Joe Steinbok, assistant governor and chairman of the Paediatric Ward Project; and Peter Griffith, past president and chairman of the Renal Dialysis Renovation Project.
by MELISSA WICKHAM