By Blessings Mashaya
Government is failing to secure spare parts for renal dialysis machines, resulting in most public hospitals operating without the important life-saving equipment, Health minister David Parirenyatwa has revealed.
Speaking in the National Assembly recently, Parirenyatwa acknowledged that the country is facing a shortage of dialysis machines.
“We had a programme through which we massively imported these (dialysis) machines and that programme was supported by China.
“Some of these machines went out of function and we have had problems in getting the spare parts. Therefore, the numbers went down particularly at Mpilo because we could not get the spare parts.
“We also currently have a very intact programme through which we are intensively training the people who run those dialysis machines.
“Put simply, we are a very capable people as a country and we have people who can run those machines.
“It is neither a question of administration or governance, but a question of lack of resources which is causing us to fail on getting more machines while when they need repairs, we could not get the foreign currency for the spare parts.
“It is therefore a question of resources that must be answered and that question is important because I even believe we have a lot of people who are currently not presenting their cases to our formal institutions though they could be helped or form part of the relevant statistics that we need.”
Parirenyatwa said the country needs to establish renal transplant centres.
“We also need to search a bit more so that we can be able to help everybody as much as we can in terms of the kidney disease.
“There are various causes of the kidney diseases and some are caused by infections, drug use, alcohol use and sometimes your genetics in the sense that kidneys can just give up and fail as you grow.
“All those issues have to be considered in medical health when we talk of diagnosis.
“As a country, I think in terms of diagnosing and personnel to diagnose, we are doing extremely well but it is a question of having more resources to be able to purchase the diagnosis machines, to be able to set up renal transplant equipment and machines as well as to establish renal transplant centres that we severely need.
“We are aware of that and it is not just the kidney diseases but, there are many other situations such as cardiac, heart, liver problems, brain tumours and spinal injuries.”
He further said: “We need a lot of money in the health sector. We have the personnel and the infrastructure but we need the monies to be able to keep us to assist people.
“We also need to actually have internal tourism because there are a lot of our Diasporan people who are out there, who are itching to come back, but they will not come back as long as we do not have the infrastructure that builds up towards their skills. I urge you that as a country, let us just focus a little bit more on the money to the health sector.” DailyNews