The Philip King Charitable Trust (U.K.) has joined hands with the SHARE Foundation to help save the lives of patients in the Renal Dialysis Unit at Anuradhapura General Hospital. On the 2nd of February 2010, we held the official launch of our programme in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka to help the most vulnerable and terminally ill who are suffering with chronic kidney disease.
Every one out of ten people in the total population of 1.4 million in this province is affected with the disease which results in renal failure and, in most cases, in death. The majority of patients are young farmers who are the bread winners of their families. Consequently, their livelihoods are threatened and the family unit is further impoverished as some cannot as much as afford the bus fares to travel to the hospital for investigations and treatment. They are indeed, desperate for help. SHARE has been very fortunate to receive substantial financial help from The Philip King Charitable Trust through the intervention of Gerald Mendoza, our long-standing friend and supporter and we have been able to step in to help these patients, who are in desperate need of help. We provide them with the cost of transport, medication and the various items that are necessary for dialysis and transplant surgery when everything is in place. The support and assistance we give them during this period is immeasurable.
SHARE has taken a further step towards prevention and is, at least, attempting to minimise the incidence of the disease. The high content of fluoride, heavy metals such as Aluminium in the water in these areas, contamination of the water supply with artificial fertilizers used for paddy cultivation have all been identified as major contributing factors. Whatever the contamination results from, it is well accepted that the contaminated water consumed by people, is the root cause of this problem. SHARE is helping to build water tanks with an in-built filtration system to collect rain water for specific families selected to participate in the programme. It is a step in the right direction. A contract to construct the tanks has been signed with a specialist firm based in nearby Medawachchiya. The Anuradhapura Water Resources Board has joined force with us and is providing technical assistance.
A contract for the year 2010, for which we have sufficient funds, has been signed with the Director of Anuradhapura Hospital and it is our earnest wish to continue for years to come to help such people who suffer with this ‘silent killer’.
Year 2010 has been a successful one and the progress and the experience we have gained is invaluable.
Our first patient who underwent Renal Transplant Surgery is recovering well. At present Rohan, his wife and the son live in temporary accommodation near the General Hospital where he underwent his operation. The consultant needs to keep a close watch on the patient and monitor him for 3 months prior to discharge him home. He needs to continue with his medication for at least for another year but no further dialysis. Our estimated cost for a patient for surgery is around 2,000 UK Pounds.