Medipark marks 5-years since first kidney transplant

31 March 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA at OSHAKATI

Ongwediva Medipark has performed ten kidney transplants since their first transplant five years ago.

On Monday 29 March, the first kidney recipient celebrated the five-year-anniversary since the inaugural medical intervention.

World kidney day was commemorated on 11 March this year under the theme “Living well with kidney disease”.

The hospital’s spokesperson Katarina Elago said they are committed to their community and fellow countrymen and women who suffer from various stages of kidney disease and are committed to this year’s theme.

“This is to live the best life possible with encouragement of open communication and empowerment of all to be in command of their own health care by actively participating and working closely with our health care team,” Elago said.

Transplant Unit manager, Kim Crymble of Ongwediva Medipark, said their focus this year is to include not only the management of symptoms, but to also acknowledge the burden kidney disease has on the daily lives of patients and their loved ones.

While the transplant unit has received many referrals, Crymble explains there are challenges.

Almost 60% of donors are not suitable, while others suitable donors withdraw.

Some patients die from complications related to dialysis and underlying medical issues before they are able to obtain the new organ.

At the moment there are four patients eagerly awaiting Covid-19 vaccinations so transplants can proceed.

“We are forever grateful to the patients whose lives we have improved. And our living donors who without hesitation donated a kidney to their loved ones and whose lives have only been enriched from the experience. Without a donor there is no transplant,” Crymble said.

She said in Namibia kidney disease is prevalent and she would like to encourage all to take a proactive approach in early referrals to support kidney function, early fistula formation and early referral for transplant care.

“We focus on a patient centered multidisciplinary team approach with our patients being proactive and involved in their care plan. We guide and support and encourage all to be committed to their disease and self-care management. Co-dependency is not an option rather the team-focused care with the team leader being the involved patient,” Crymble said.

High blood pressure, diabetes and infections remain the main causes of kidney disease in Africa, she said.

Crymble also used the platform to advice patients to stick to their medication plan.

“Talk openly about your disease and seek information to empower your knowledge and actions. Keep a close eye on your weight and avoid high salt intake, do regular exercise, stop smoking and in the heat ensure adequate water intake to avoid dehydration,” she stressed.