Barbadians to blame

Kidney failure cases will continue to rise until people take responsiblity for their health, says James

Barbadians are to blame for the high number of cases of kidney failure among citizens.

Furthermore, speaking to Barbados TODAY after the launch of the peritoneal home delivery service for dialysis patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday, CEO Dexter James said until people took personal responsibility for their health, the numbers would only continue to rise.

Dexter James
Dexter James

Further reiterating his point sister-in-charge of the PD programme, Marselles Sealy, said that the majority of the cases she saw was as a result of patients not adhering to their regimes, taking their medication properly and not eating correctly.

“We estimate there are about three to four new patients a month who are candidates for one form of dialysis whether it be haemo or peritoneal . . .  . So unless we find a way of stemming the tide and stopping the bleeding, so to speak, we are going to find ourselves in a serious predicament as it relates to being able to sustain our current programme and being able to attend to the needs of the future patients,” James said.

Fifteen to 20 per cent of the Barbadian population are diabetics and another 20 to 30 per cent are hypertensive, he said. He added that it was estimated that two to three per cent of the GDP of the country went toward persons with diabetes and [non communicable diseases].

“So it means that the burden of the disease is tremendous for the country and the QEH so unless persons take personal responsibility for their care we are going to see more and more demands being placed on the system,” he added.

As it stood, James said the QEH managed about 171 in–house kidney patients at a cost of $62,400 per patient. They outsourced another 24 cases at an estimated $52,000 per year while they care for the 26 patients of the home dialysis programme for an estimated cost of about $50,000 per year. The total cost to care for those 200-plus patients expend to at least close to $14 million a year,” he revealed.

“We continue to make the case that personal responsibility must become a new health promotion strategy. It simply meant that if you know of your health status take personal responsibility for your healthcare,” the CEO advised.

The home dialysis programme will expand access to dialysis service for a selected cohort of patients based on a predetermined criteria.

With the assistance of Bryden Stokes the programme, which has been in existence for near decade, will provide machines to allow the patients to provide the dialysis at home and an additional door–to–door care for these patients. This would assist them to get all of their supplies for dialysis on a bi–monthly basis which was believed would make life much easier for them.

Bryden Stokes provided the programme with 30 new machines and have made an investment in the educating and training of nurses as support for the patients which cost in excess of $500,000.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY director of health and wellness at Bryden Stokes, Michael Marshall pledged the company’s commitment to the programme. He said as the demand increased they too would expand as they continued to support all efforts to take the strain off these patients.

“Bryden Stokes has partnered with QEH to ensure the best possible customer service to the PD patients, facilitating the success of the home dialysis program by providing convenient door–to–door deliveries of all the patient’s dialysis supplies. In addition, Baxter and Bryden Stokes support the QEH PD team by creating awareness around dialysis options through training for patients and family, continuing education of the PD medical team, home monitoring or community visits and on call technical support.

“Through open communication with this medical institution Bryden Stokes and Baxter will continue to find ways to improve the services available to the growing dialysis population in Barbados . . . so they can be more productive, live a more productive life and can be more sociable,” he said.

World Kidney Day was observed in Barbados today with several exhibitions around the island, including expos at Sir Winston Scott polyclinic in Jemmotts Lane, St Michael and at the Scotia Bank in Broad Street. 

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