Coordinated National Action on Renal Disease

JIS Webmaster
10 Sep, 2013

CHASE Director, Saleem Lazarus stands outside the Dialysis Unit at the Mandeville Regional Hospital. A $24 milion contribution by CHASE facilitated the establishment of the Public Dialysis Unit at the Mandeville Regional Hospital three years ago. Prior to this, some 83.6% of the patients who attended the institution’s renal clinic died without receiving dialysis. Chronic renal failure is an increasingly significant national health issue, as approximately 10% of the growing number of diabetics ends up with this condition. The Unit accommodates 32 patients and serves the parishes of Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and St. Ann. A second phase of development is proposed, to cater to an additional 10 to 15 patients.
CHASE Director, Saleem Lazarus stands outside the Dialysis Unit at the Mandeville Regional Hospital. A $24 milion contribution by CHASE facilitated the establishment of the Public Dialysis Unit at the Mandeville Regional Hospital three years ago. Prior to this, some 83.6% of the patients who attended the institution’s renal clinic died without receiving dialysis. Chronic renal failure is an increasingly significant national health issue, as approximately 10% of the growing number of diabetics ends up with this condition. The Unit accommodates 32 patients and serves the parishes of Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and St. Ann. A second phase of development is proposed, to cater to an additional 10 to 15 patients.

Adequate maintenance of dialysis machines, which is critical to the safe and cost-effective delivery of renal care, has consistently posed a challenge for the few treatment facilities which serve the growing number of patients at government hospitals island-wide.

Treatment costs – estimated at approximately J$1.2 million annually for each patient – represent a heavy financial burden. In 2008, the Kidney Support Foundation – a not-for-profit organization – collaborated with the National Health Fund (NHF) and the CHASE Fund to improve the service delivered by the Renal Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital. The partnership with the NHF facilitated the purchase of 15 new dialysis machines valued at a total US$425,000.

The CHASE Fund’s US$30,000 per year contribution for maintenance of the machines over three years ensured the efficient operation of the units and also assured that the full value of this huge investment was realized. Preventive maintenance costs included the replacement of parts and labour for calibrations, as well as, the travel expenses of the foreign technicians who were contracted to work on the machines.