NCP hospitals short of specialists to treat kidney patients

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Hospitals in the North-Central Province (NCP) were experiencing a shortage of specialised doctors, nursing staff and other health facilities to deal with the chronic kidney disease, Prof. Ravindra Fernando, of the Faculty of Medicine, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, said.

Addressing the media on Tuesday (25) at a Colombo City Hotel, Prof. Fernando said: "Most of the patients come from the rural areas, and they come for treatment only when the disease is in the chronic stage, when transplants are required. But the hospital does not have the medical staff to do kidney transplants. There is a shortage of surgeons and nurses."

Prof. Fernando stressed that arsenic was not the only reason for the deadly kidney disease.

Anuradhapura is the worst affected. Over the past 15 years, 145 deaths and 18,281 cases of kidney disease have been reported from the district. Polonnaruwa reports 4,607 cases. Cases have also been reported from Ampara, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Vavuniya and parts of the Eastern, Uva and Northern provinces.

Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Executive Director, Hemantha Vithanage said that it was important to ensure sufficient health support, dialysis facilities, drinking water supply and health awareness.

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