The Health Department in Samoa has created a renal unit described as the first step towards a complete dialysis centre, which it is estimated will eventually cost 18 million US dollars.
At the opening of the unit, the Minister of Health Mulitalo Siafausa, said it was a high priority to treat kidney disease locally.
Prevention and early detection were also being given a high profile.
He said the development would result in significant savings for the government on overseas medical treatment.
The Minister said it would also help patients who could remain in Samoa and receive care from their families.
He said the renal unit would need the continuing support of units in New Zealand and Australia if it was to succeed.