By Amin Kef Sesay
The Manager and Director of Administration of the Shifaa and Dialysis Center (SD&C) in Freetown, Dalanda Bah, has intimated this news medium that the Center, which is situated on Campbell Street in Freetown was well prepared in terms of adhering to precautionary medical measures and guidelines well before the infiltration or outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“Management was and is still alerting and engaging members of staff of the Center by constantly sensitizing them about the presence, dangers of the virus and the precautionary measures that must be followed and adhered to in order to avoid contracting this highly dangerous germ,” the charismatic and result-oriented Manager and Director further revealed.
Dalanda added that when COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic, training sessions were conducted at the Center by Dr. Olivia Farrant of the Kings-Sierra Leone Partnership and her very self with the avowed objective of broadening the horizon of the knowledge of staff on COVID-19 in addition to what is required of them in the daily discharge of their respective medical functions and duties.
“Initially our staff lacked imported Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and as a result we resorted to the use of locally manufactured ones to continue the performance of our staff’s respective duties and assignments,” Dalanda also mentioned further underscoring how they were right on top of the situation way back referencing it as a reason why their doors were wide open even when the coronavirus was slowly spreading in the country also pinpointing that if they had acted contrary then some of their clients could have probably lost their lives.
The Director and Manager also stated, during our exclusive engagement, that their doctors are highly trained and equipped to handle positive COVID-19 patients who are simultaneously suffering from various renal diseases disclosing how they were first to implement machine hand washing at the Center in order to prevent contracting the virus.
“When unfortunately we had patients that were diagnosed positive with COVID-19 and at the same time suffering from renal diseases we came up with a schedule that made provision for such patients to exclusively undergo dialysis. Even though the clinic was running at a loss, we transformed the entire system just for patients to undergo dialysis and we were doing so in order to save lives,” Dalanda revealed furthering how during that phase the Center maintained an isolation room in order to keep Positive COVID-19 individuals away from other patients who were visiting the clinic and ensured strict adherence to the preventive measures instituted by health practitioners like hand washing, social distancing etc.
She emphasized that the clinic is complementing the efforts of Government in trying to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country, adding that their strides and initiatives have saved lives also stating that if patients with dialysis go one week without treatment there is the great possibility that they will suffer and die also maintaining that the clinic would not like such to happen to any of their patients.
At this juncture, it is important to note that the kidneys in humans are very vital organs as they are responsible for the removal of waste products from the body and removal of excessive fluids. When kidneys can no longer perform these functions at sufficient capacity, the result is kidney disease, also called renal failure. Usually, renal failure occurs as the result of a gradual decrease in the efficiency of the kidneys over a long period (chronic renal failure).
It has been established that worldwide poor diet, excessive intake of sodium, excessive medication, that is use of all types of medicines that cannot fit the body, also causes kidney failure.
Lamentably, this country’s health care system has suffered from a serious vacuum as the country for a considerable period of time lacked a modernized Dialysis Treatment Center with the resultant effect that individuals who were diagnosed with renal failure had to go through the hassle of having to incur the expenses of travelling to Ghana and other countries with good health systems in order to access professional treatment.
Shifaa and Dialysis Center (SD&C) is one that is specialized in treating renal diseases and has started educational series for the masses using the social media to educate the masses on kidney diseases.
Invariably, what that meant was that it was only rich people that could access qualitative treatment abroad and the poor had to bear the brunt of living their lives on tenterhooks, only surviving by the grace of the Almighty God.
Fortunately, there was a U-turn to this abysmal situation when on the 5th of August 2016, the Alhaji Umaru Sillah Dialysis Center was established which later culminated into the Shifaa and Dialysis Center (SD&C).
Situated on 8 Campbell Street in Freetown, the Dialysis Center is very easily accessible to patients of any physical condition and ambulances in case of an emergency and more importantly they are neighbors with pharmacies, laboratories, clinics and their clinicians are also a short distance away from the location.
As a privately owned and managed Dialysis Center in Sierra Leone, the health entity is offering dialysis treatment to those who have been diagnosed with Renal Diseases thereby facilitating patients’ need for good quality of life and the enhancement of their wellbeing.
In terms of the Center’s philosophy and vision, Management of S&DC are striving their best to make sure that no dialysis patient goes untreated.
According to Dalanda Bah for those who go to them with renal failure diagnosis, the goal is to treat and educate them to improve their quality of life, counsel them and their caregivers to stay positive and to cope with their new way of life and stand by them as their means of support.
The Shifaa and Dialysis Center has a team of competent and specialized medical staff comprising a Certified Nephrologist, General Physician Consultant, Dialysis Nurses, Dialysis Technicians and nurses who deliver onsite education and counseling on nutrition, dialysis and renal disease. These are professionals in their own rights.
Dr. Komrabai Kanu, a highly professional Sierra Leonean doctor, regularly plays a supervisory role over the team of medics in accordance with the laws of Sierra Leone concerning medical practitioners working in the country. He mentors, counsel, guides, corrects and participates in daily services professionally and with courtesy. His immense wisdom is very impressive.
As a matter of fact, the Center is considered as a One-Stop Renal Center in Sierra Leone as it provides quality care for all dialysis patients at every level of their disease. The Center is capable of treating renal patients requiring dialysis at any stage of their disease. It also provides the following services: Consultation for Renal patients, Hemodialysis Treatment, Temporary and Permanent (Tunnelized) catheter insertion, referral to other specialists as necessary, dialysis education for patients and their families. Other services provided include, Diet Counselling, Psychological and Coping advice, Catheter Dressing change for those who need it on the days that they do not have a dialysis treatment.
Shifaa and Dialysis Centre is opened between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday. On Sundays and after hours, they are open for emergencies only. Shifaa Dialysis Centre is calling on all Sierra Leoneans on Dialysis to come and visit their facility.