DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania's leading medical facility Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) will next year begin performing kidney transplant surgery, saving millions of dollars spent by the east African nation for referring patients abroad, an official said on Thursday.
Hedwiga Swai, the MNH Director of Medical Services, said the medical facility has secured 1.8 million U.S. dollars from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) for the construction of a theatre and acquisition of medical equipment for kidney transplant surgery.
"We hope to begin kidney transplant surgery beginning January 2017," said Swai.
She said the MNH was only performing dialysis services to patients with kidney disorders as preliminary medical care before referring patients abroad, including India, for kidney transplant surgery.
Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste and unwanted water from the blood, a process done after the kidneys had failed to function properly.
She said the MNH has only 17 dialysis machines that enabled doctors to provide dialysis services to at least 51 patients per day.
"It takes an average time of four hours for a single patient to undertake the procedure and then he or she makes way for another patient to undertake it. The patient is required to undertake the procedure three times a week," said Swai.
She said the new facility will be fully equipped with at least 42 dialysis machines that could perform the procedure to at least 126 patients a day.
According to available statistics, the government spends about 37,000 dollars for sending a patient and an escort donor to India, including medical care and transport fare.
She said the MNH last week dispatched 20 specialists to India to upgrade their skills on how to perform kidney transplant surgery. Enditem