Hospital needs $500k to resume kidney transplants

At least half a million dollars is required to install kidney transplantation and treatment equipment at the Sally Mugabe Transplantation Unit at Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

The resumption of kidney transplantations will bring relief to many Zimbabweans who are having to endure the high costs of dialysis.

Many Zimbabweans have been eagerly awaiting the commencement of kidney transplants at the Sally Mugabe Renal Institute at Chitungwiza Hospital as a permanent exit from haemodialysis.

In 2016 and 2017, a leading mining corporate, Mimosa Mining Company availed funding for the set-up of the unit and installed the laminar air-flow equipment that reduces the rate of infection in theatres.

Work on the project has failed to progress further and the wards are now lying idle as resources to procure kidney transplantation and treatment equipment have become scarce.

Chairman of the kidney transplant project, Dr Samuel Mvurume said they are now looking at other avenues of raising resources to equip the unit which requires at least half a million dollars to become functional.

The unit built with facilities to accommodate both the kidney recipient and the kidney donor during the transplantation process is turning into a white elephant.

A team of surgeons and nurses were seconded to Apollo Hospital, India in February 2016 where they received training in kidney transplants and post operation care, but until now they have not had a chance to put into practice what they learnt.

The Apollo Hospital transplantation team had also agreed to play a supervisory role and be part of the team that will perform the first surgeries but it is no longer clear whether the agreement still stands after the delays experienced in opening up the unit.

In the past kidney transplantation surgeries used to be done at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals but they were stopped in 1992 when more resources started being channelled towards fighting the HIV pandemic.

The resumption of kidney transplants in the country after a 26 year break was anticipated to save huge sums of foreign currency as renal patients will no longer be required to travel to South Africa, India and other western countries for transplants.