By Amin Kef-Ranger
In an engagement by the Management of Choithram Memorial Hospital, situated on Hill Station in the West End of Freetown, on the 4th August, 2022, Dr. Gowrinath M. George, who happens to be the Medical Superintendent of the hospital, revealed that they started using dialysis as a form treatment on patients suffering from kidney failure in February this year with an average of roughly around 180 to 200 dialysis been done every month.
He informed that it was realized that some of the patients have been complaining of discomfort when being dialyzed by inserting a catheter, which is a thin, flexible tube that can put fluids into an individual’s body or take them out, to remove the toxins from the body of a patient.
Dr George said that since each patient may be undergoing dialysis 2 to 3 times a week, catheter needs to be replaced very frequently leading to multiple puncture sites and blood vessel blockade. This causes great discomfort and suffering to the patient.
The Medical Superintendent revealed that it was against that backdrop that the Management of the hospital decided to invite the Associate Director of Urology and Kidney Transplant from Max Healthcare in India to train medical practitioners in Sierra Leone to dialyze patients with end stage kidney failure by conducting an Arterio-Venous fistula through a small surgical procedure.
He continued that the beneficiaries of the training were drawn from Choithram Memorial Hospital and Connaught Hospital.
On his part, the Associate Director of Urology and Kidney Transplant from Max Healthcare in India, Dr. Ruchir Maheshwari, disclosed that
he conducted A-V Fistula Procedure Workshop on the 3rd and 4th August, 2022.
According to him, when an individual develops a kidney problem there are two forms of traditional treatments that are administered which are either the replacement of the kidney (kidney transplant) or the individual is placed under dialysis, which is the clinical purification of blood as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney.
He furthered that A-V Fistula offers a long term solution for dialysis and if taken care of properly would last for 6 months to a year.
He said it will result to a patient getting a better life with least complications.
Dr. Ruchir explained that for individuals who are suffering from permanent kidney failure they will have to be put on dialysis preferably through A-V Fistula unlike those whose conditions are not chronic.
He revealed that it is a procedure, which is not done in Sierra Leone and from what he learnt patients travel to nearby countries to get the procedure done.
“Through a two day workshop I conducted training for Sierra Leonean doctors with the hope that they will be the first set of doctors to conduct the procedure,” he expressed optimism adding that if the treatment is done in the country it will eliminate expenses and discomfort incurred in getting it done in another country.
Seven doctors plus one Dialysis Nurse In Charge at Connaught Hospital benefited from the training and they are: Dr Joshua Coker, Dr Aditya Das, Dr Afsar Ali Ansari, Dr Alhaji Gbla, Dr Mamadu Barrie, Dr Victor Conteh and Nyama Kamara, the Dialysis Nurse at Connaught Hospital.
He commended Sierra Leonean doctors for doing well and making strides in Healthcare service delivery.
The climax of the engagement was the award of a Certificate of Appreciation by the Management of Choithram Memorial Hospital to Dr. Ruchir Maheshwari, which was presented to him by Dr. Joshua Coker.