Health officials and decision makers called on to support kidney disease patients

On the celebration of the World Kidney Day this 14 March, “Vision Santé”, the club of students in medicine faculty at Ngozi private University in close collaboration with CMCK Hospital has organized a one-day campaign to screen people for kidney disease risk factors.

It is around 10 a.m at CMCK Hospital in Kinindo neighborhood, in Mukaza urban commune, in the south of the Capital Bujumbura.

Patients waiting to be screened for kidney risk factors at CMCK Hospital

Young and adult people queue up to be screened for the kidney disease risk factors. Diabetes, blood pressure and obesity are some risk factors screened during this one-day campaign.
“Over 300 people are expected to be screened”, says Pascal Barahandwa, Director of Health Care at CMCK hospital, adding that patients who will test positive for kidney disease will be given pieces of advices including consulting specialists.

Dr. Barahandwa says many Burundians suffer from the disease without knowing it because they don’t go for screening. “It is too expensive and few of them afford to be screened,” he says adding that about 50 patients in Burundi are under kidney dialysis. A treatment session costs over BIF 180,000 depending on the hospital.

Désiré Niyungeko, one of the patients says he is appreciative of the campaign. “It’s a good opportunity to know about our health situation. Screening for kidney disease is very expensive,” he says after receiving good news that he tested negative for kidney disease. He adds that he has been advised to do more physical exercise to reduce weight.

Joséphine Nahayo was found with blood pressure. “I was not aware of that. Thanks to different pieces of advice, I now know how I will behave to prevent the kidney disease,” she says.

Jean Marie Nduwimana, representative of those students of the medicine faculty at Ngozi private University gathered in “Vision Santé” Club says the campaign was organized to raise awareness of the kidney disease so that health officials and decision-makers should consider the kidney disease at the same level as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other chronic diseases. “People suffering from this disease need to be supported,” he says.

Hospitals that are able to prescribe dialysis treatment in Burundi are CMCK hospital, Kira hospital, Kamenge Military Hospital, Kamenge University Hospital, Prince Régent Charles hospital and the Police Hospital.