5 Oct 2004

Renal dialysis available in Samoa in March

8:29 am on 5 October 2004

The Samoa Government says local dialysis treatment will be available in March 2005.

By then the Renal Dialysis Unit will have 12 dialysis machines; initially thought impossible for government to afford.

However the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says help from Singapore's National Kidney Foundation provided practical solutions.

The Ministry of Health says 23 per cent of the population was diabetic resulting in government paying more than US$1 million a year for sending 10 patients for treatment in New Zealand.

Foreigners will run the Samoan renal unit initially until a local doctor and two nurses are finished training in dialysis treatment in Auckland.

The launching of the renal unit will coincide with a meeting of regional Health ministers in Apia next year.