The Kidney Association of Malawi in Lilongwe has appealed to well-wishers to help kidney failure patients, who are undergoing treatment in Lilongwe and surrounding areas to enable them afford medication and other related costs.
According to patron of the association, Dr Charles Munthali, many of the patients are unemployed and cannot sustain the two trips a week to the hospital to undergo treatment.
Apart from transport costs, Munthali, who is in charge of the Renal Unit at Kamuzu Central Hospital, said the nature of kidney failure is such that it results in anaemia, high blood pressure and bone problems which require special treatment and additional medications which are expensive for the average patient with no source of income.
“Before a patient is started on dialysis treatment, we inform them that if they cannot manage then this is not the treatment for them but most will insist that they can manage. Dialysis treatment is lifelong, the machine is the kidney and takes its toll on the family finances. As a result, patients drop out and we can only assume they die at home,” Munthali said.
For example, the drug erythropoietin costs K10 000 per dose (K30 000 on retail) which translates to K80 000 a month for eight dosages.
Apart from erythropoietin, kidney failure patients require calcium supplements and iron sucrose which costs K20 000 per dose.
The Kidney Association’s bank details are as follows: NBS Bank, Lilongwe branch; Account Name: Friends of Renal Unit, account number 13588988.