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Buea Haemodialysis, Blood Bank Centres Operational 

By Walter Wilson Nana

The Buea Haemodialysis, Blood Bank Centres have gone operational. Patients with end-stage kidney disease, hypertension, HIV and those with inadequate quantity of blood, can be attended to at the Buea Regional Hospital Haemodialysis and Blood Bank Centres, BRHDC.

After the first test case, September 9, Dr Ronald Mbua Gobina, head of the centre, explained that the centre shall cater for patients with very severe kidney problems. “For people whose kidneys function has gone below normal – in most of the cases below fifteen percent of function – they are going to need assistance in what we call an external kidney, which is the haemodialysis machine.

The haemodialysis machine is designed to do the work of the kidney in the body, though it will not be put inside the body. Kidneys basically take out waste from the body and, when they do not work anymore; waste and excess water accumulate in the body. So, the purpose of these machines is to take away the waste and excess water from the body,” he said.

The medic said end-stage kidney diseases are congenital (in-born), in some cases, and the acquired situations include the susceptibility of the patient, his or her milieu of operation, roadside medications, traditional medicines and diseases like hypertension, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, are precursors of kidney failure.

On avoiding kidney diseases, Gobina said: “Be vigilant and be close to your doctor. A lot of the situations can be preventable, even the case of cholera, where there is a tendency to lose a lot of water in the body, which can lead to kidney failure. It can come from any source,” he stated.
Dr. Victor Mbome Njie, Director of the Buea Regional Hospital, expressed joy with the newfound centres in his hospital, remarking that it is a milestone in the health sector and a big relief to the concerned patients.

“We now have the possibility of managing patients with end-stage kidney disease. Our patients, who used to go to Bamenda, Douala, Yaounde and Ngaoundere will comfortably be treated in Buea, at very affordable cost of FCFA 5,000 in some cases. There is every reason to be hopeful,” he said. The Blood Bank, donated by the Centre for Disease Control, CDC, Mutengene, he said, is a supplement to get the haemodialysis treatment go on regularly.

“This is also an effort to get our laboratories towards WHO accreditation, hence making the Buea Regional Hospital a place for improved and specialised medical care,” he said. The Buea Hospital Blood Bank has a capacity of 720 blood bags, which is capable of taking care of any reported shortages in the Southwest Region.

Mbome made a plea to blood donors to be on the alert and come and donate generously, advising that it is an opportunity for people to check on their health situation for free, in the course of screening their blood for eventual donation. Njie dismissed fears of blood contamination saying: “All of the blood collected will be screened for hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis and more.

Those collected will be managed as confidential as possible. It will be a matter between the donor and the technician. It will be advantageous to a donor, whose blood may have a disease, to begin treatment as fast as possible. Today, there are people living with HIV/AIDS for more than a decade and they are doing great with their treatment,” he said.

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