Hospital Director, Health Delegate Contradict Over Closure of NW Haemodialysis Centre

On Sunday January 3, the Director of the Regional Hospital, Dr Denis Nsame Bamenda signed a release announcing the temporal closure of the Haemodialysis Centre.

Release signed by the Director of the Regional Hospital Bamenda

According to the release, the machines in the hospital’s dialysis centre have an acute breakdown and have been put out of use for the moment. Part of the release reads “The Haemodialysis Centre has been temporary CLOSED and patients transferred to other General Hospitals of the country pending lasting solution to the machines of the centre we regret all the inconveniences this may cause”.

Shortly after this release was signed, the Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr Kingsley Che Soh issued another release contradicting the information sent out by the Director of the Regional Hospital Bamenda. According to the release, the Haemodialysis centre has not been closed. “The population of the North West Region is whereby informed that contrary to the radio announcement issued by the director of the Regional hospital this morning, the Haemodialysis Centre of the regional Hospital HAS NOT BEEN CLOSED.” Part of the release reads.

Release signed by the Delegate of Public Health

He added that the machines in the centre are rather being replaced “rather, the Haemodialysis machines which have been serving patients for more than eight years now are progressively being replaced by H.E the minister of Public Health and the new machines shall go operational in the days ahead.”

Dr Kingsley Che futher called on patients undergoing dialysis to exercise some patience “while some patients have voluntarily moved to seek care in some other Haemodialysis centers in the country during this short period, we are calling on all the others to exercise a bit of patience, as they shall be informed as soon as the new machines are installed”.

It is unclear why these releases contradict each other. However what is clear is the fact that the Haemodialysis machines in the lone centre in the North West region of Cameroon are temporary out of use. This has left many wondering how patient can a patient who is to undergo dialysis be when it’s time for him/her to go through the process. Others have begun sympathizing with these patients who would have to bear the burden of travelling long distances and incurring huge expenses to seek medical attention in other regions.

patient undergoing dialysis at the Regional Hospital Bamenda before the breakdown of machines

It is hoped that the situation at the Haemodialysis centre in the North West region be fixed soonest so that patients can continue following up their treatment with ease.

The North West Region of Cameroon has been hit by the ongoing crisis in the country for over four years now and some of the inhabitants have since been complaining of hardship. The breakdown of the Haemodialysis centre is therefore seen as an additional suffering brought upon patients who were benefiting from this service.

What is Haemodialysis

Haemodialysis is a way of replacing some of the functions of your kidney if your kidneys have failed, by using a machine to filter and clean your blood. Blood is pumped out of your body to the machine where it is passed through a series of tiny tubes, in an ‘artificial kidney’ or ‘dialyser’.

According to the American Renal Associates, It is extremely important for patients to attend all of their scheduled dialysis treatments since each treatment removes waste and excess fluid from their blood. Fluid buildup from missed treatments can have lasting negative effects, including causing heart damage, increasing blood pressure and increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Extra fluid may also make the patient feel short of breath.

By Sandrine M.

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