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Jan 26, 2011

K.H.M.H. introduces hemodialysis program for renal failure patients

Jose Cruz, the kidney patient and activist, had a dream for all who bore the same illness. He did not live to see that dream turn into a reality.  Cruz wanted better facilities and treatment for kidney patients suffering from renal failure. The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is now the portal through which his dream becomes reality.  The K.H.M.H. is about to introduce a hemodialysis program that will be accessible to patients. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

For years Jose Cruz had been an advocate for Belizeans suffering from renal failure who did not have adequate access to affordable hemodialysis therapy.  Almost two months and several victims later Cruz’s dream will finally become a reality.  On February fourth the National Hemodialysis Program will formally be introduced and will see both the Karl Heusner Memorial and the Loma Luz hospitals administering treatment to thirty-two individuals suffering from the sickness.  It’s been a work in progress that has spanned the better part of a year and a half but according to Dr. Francis Longsworth there had to be major modifications to house dialysis units at both facilities.

Dr. Francis Longsworth, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

Francis Longsworth

“The process initially was a process of negotiation and accommodation and we in fact did not sign an M.O.U. until June of last year.  So once we had signed the M.O.U. then the real work started which was to get the program off the ground.  For that we had to do infrastructural work.  We had to actually build the facilities or in our case at the K.H.M.H. we had to renovate an area of the hospital.  We had to bring in the equipment.  We had to train the nurses and the technicians who would take care of the equipment and all of that took months to do.”

Wayne Trebbin

The undertaking is a partnership between the Ministry of Health and the World Organization for Renal Therapies led by Dr. Wayne Trebbin.

Dr. Wayne Trebbin, Founder/President, WORTH (File: June 3rd, 2010)

It’s a momentous occasion for us. It means that we have a total commitment now to bring dialysis to Belize in conjunction with our colleagues, brothers and sisters here and our commitment is to bring state of the art, cutting edge technology of the highest quality at a price that would not cost anyone a hardship.”

The overall cost of the three-year program is upwards of one point eight million dollars to be subsidized largely by the Government of Belize with additional funding from WORTH.

Dr. Francis Longsworth

“The major financing for this program which is a National Haemodialysis Program is a budgetary input from the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize essentially and this is supplemented by contributions from the WORTH association which is our American partners in this venture.”

Jose Cruz

In mid-2010, following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Cruz told News Five that the achievement was a milestone in the fight for proper care of kidney patients.

Jose Cruz, Deceased Kidney Patient (File: June 3rd, 2010)

“This is a matter of life and death for me. You know today I should have been in a Belmopan hospital admitted, but I said I’ll take my chances. It doesn’t really matter, I needed to be here. An advocate will always find himself in some corners sometimes because of what they are asking for and what I’m asking for is the best quality care for all Belizeans. Today I’m here, tomorrow I might die but what we have accomplished here today, I would like to see go on.”

Oversight and treatment of patients will be split down the middle between both hospitals; each unit being equipped with four dialysis stations and two backup systems.  The program will be launched officially on Friday, February fourth. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

All be told, kidney patients will now be able to access treatment at more affordable prices.

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3 Responses for “K.H.M.H. introduces hemodialysis program for renal failure patients”

  1. queenelizabeththe4th says:

    I hope government keep a check on Loma Luz Hospital, cause this is a ripped off hospital, at this place you can’t get service if you don’t come up with money, even if you are dying, I am telling you the truth people. Let hope that this program really benefit the poor.

  2. Just me says:

    name the ward Jose Cruz Dialysis Ward. If it was not for his efforts, eventually giving his life , definitely this ward would not exist.. Give the man his due.

  3. Mel says:

    I hope care and professionalism is here as this is an important part of health and treat the patients with respect and treat them as human beings. Patients can live for a long period of time with dialysis and have a fruitful life. I have had the privileged of working with renal failure patients. I hope this works out for the patients.

    :)

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