Zim to resume kidney transplants

via Zim to resume kidney transplants | The Herald December 15, 2015

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter—
Zimbabwe is set to resume kidney transplants early next year after the first project was abandoned in 1992. The project — to be run by Chitungwiza Central Hospital — will save huge sums in foreign currency as renal patients will no longer have to travel to South Africa, India and other Western countries for transplants. Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals stopped kidney transplants in 1992 following the discovery of more HIV cases that saw more resources being diverted towards the fight against the pandemic.

Chitungwiza Central Hospital chief executive officer Dr Obadiah Moyo said the first group of medical and technical staff had since returned from a study and familiarisation tour of Johannesburg General Hospital and Milpark Hospital in South Africa.

Both hospitals specialise in kidney transplants. He said if all goes according to plan, the Sally Mugabe Renal Institute opened by President Mugabe recently, would perform its first kidney transplant early next year.

A second group of physicians and surgeons will be leaving for Apollo Hospital in India next month for a month’s training in kidney transplants. “At the completion of the training, the Apollo transplantation team will accompany the Zimbabwean team to commence transplantation at Chitungwiza Central Hospital under their supervision until they are satisfied with the local team’s performance,” said Dr Moyo.

He said the idea was meant to transfer medical technologies and knowledge to Zimbabwe, instead of patients going for expensive transplants outside the country. “There are patients who underwent kidney transplants in India, but are being managed here. “What we want is to be able to perform the transplants here in Zimbabwe and also manage them locally.”

Dr Moyo said in the meantime, the institute identified corporate organisations and individuals willing to support in meeting additional preparatory costs for the programme. “The burden of renal failure continues to rise in Zimbabwe and we suspect that what we are seeing at the moment could just be a tip of the iceberg,” said Dr Moyo.

He said the institution had also set up a kidney committee comprising surgeons, nephrologists, physicians, scientists, pharmacists, radiologists and radiographers. Pathologists, clinical psychologists, cardiologists, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, social workers, theatre and renal nurses also part of the team.

Relatives of the patients would be the main source of the kidneys. Infection control sisters, finance and administration officers and equipment technicians are also part of the committee. Dr Moyo said part of the programme was also to identify and treat kidney problems early before they progressed into chronic conditions.Chronic kidney patients ended up in dialysis.

Dialysis could either be through hemodialysis – a process that involves removal of waste from the body through a machine or through Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD). CAPD involved insertion of a soft thin tube called a peritoneal catheter through the wall of the abdominal cavity for waste removal.

“Hemodialysis and CAPD are stop gap measures to treatment of chronic kidney problem. All patients willneed an exit point and they will have to exit to kidney transplantation. So kidney transplantation is the solution to patients with chronic kidney condition,” said Dr Moyo.

The kidney committee’s chairperson, Dr Samuel Mvurume, said his team was ready and raring to start kidney transplantations come 2016. “ I was in India in June and I assisted two kidney transplants and that’s where I realized that we could do it.

Dr Mvurume who is one of the surgeons who will be doing the transplants, said he was confident that it would be done successfully here. The hospital’s administration assistant, Mr Patrick Madziva, who was also part of the team that went to South Africa said infrastructure invested by the hospital was up to standard.

“In fact we noted that our infrastructure was better than theirs,” said Mr Madziva. Renal failure is when one’s kidneys stop functioning and has to go through an artificial process called haemodialysis or CAPD to remove toxic body waste including urine and free water from the blood.

If the waste is not removed, the patient swells up and dies a painful death. It is estimated that about 1 000 people develop renal problems yearly in Zimbabwe. According to www.kidneyfund.com, kidney injury is caused by medicines and drugs. Ways to help protect your kidneys are to: eat a diet low in fat and salt, regular exercise, check-ups and avoid tobacco and limit alcohol.


  • comment-avatar

    Hmmm . . .

    South Africa, India and other Western countries

    Methinks a geography lesson was missed somewhere?

  • comment-avatar
    Togarepi Zhangazha 7 years ago

    Obediah Moyo is a complete dreamer, out and out loss of touch with reality. He poses in front of a CT scan; and what on earth had that got to do with kidney transplants? He is not a legitimate doctor even. He never did his housemanship (after having done a correspondence course in medicine; courtesy of some dodgy Carribean Uni). He cites himself as being a member of the Royal college of pathologists, UK-quite a serious misrepresentation! He has PhDs blah blah; yet his only claim to fame was fixing dialysis machines used by the late First Lady Sally Mugabe. Please don’t give any media space to this Walter Mitty impostor; wanna be real doctor