CKD preventive activities brought to standstill since prez election

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana yesterday disclosed that the preventive health care activities to alleviate suffering of more than 70,000 kidney patients in the North Central, North Western, Uva, Eastern, Central and Northern Provinces which were active before the Presidential election had come to a standstill now.

Dr. Jayasumana said that in those affected districts and provinces many forms of cancer such as breast, oral, oesophagus and liver were beginning to spread due to toxins in water. He described the situation as a double whammy for residents in the affected districts. To make matters worse much of Sri Lanka’s dry zone was currently grappling with a drought caused by delayed Monsoon, he said.

Dr Jayasumana maintained that now the government as well as officials responsible for preventing the CKD in the affected areas were shirking their responsibility to treat and prevent its spread. Each dialysis session cost around Rs.12,000 (USD 92) and many hospitals did not have enough dialysis machines, Dr. Jayasumana said.

He said that the Secretary to the Health Ministry had told a seminar in early 2011 that Rs.350 million (approximately USD 2.6 million) – 4.6 per cent of the health budget – was spent every year on CKD patients.

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