Patients and guardians of people suffering from kidney failure recently dated the Parliamentary Committee on Health to lobby for support to address challenges they face.
Samuel Kumwanji, a representative of the Kidney Foundation of Malawi, said people affected by kidney failure face a lot of problems, hence their call for the committee to help.
Speaking after meeting members of the committee, Kumwanji said they now feel their grievances will be addressed.
He said, among others, the foundation decries inadequate dialysis machines which are only available at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe and Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre
Kumwanji said this disadvantages patients in the Northern and Eastern regions.
“We have noted that the issue of kidney failure is not given much attention. There are many problems facing patients with kidney failure.
“We came here so that we should join hands with the MPs on the problems facing kidney failure patients, like the allocation of dialysis machines and referrals to hospitals outside the country which is not normally done by government unless one has money,” he said.
Kumwanji also said it is high time the Ministry of Health supported the patients, especially those who need kidney transplants by sending them outside the country for operation.
“We would like the committee to discuss with their fellow legislators when they meet. They should also take to task the Ministry of Health,” he said.
The committee’s on Health chairperson Juliana Lunguzi bemoaned lack of health insurance in Malawi to help people with non-communicable diseases.
“I understand two years ago the ministry promised to set up a centre in Zomba. We will follow up on what they are doing on this now. People are really suffering to access help. So, we will lobby more,” she said. n