Guyana making strides in addressing chronic kidney disease

The Government of Guyana has been making significant progress in providing the necessary treatment for persons with kidney related illnesses.

While that is so, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, said it is important for persons to understand kidney disease and the importance of having healthy kidneys.

One of the things in Guyana that we have been able to do over the years is to provide dialysis services, and more recently the government has announced that we would be giving assistance to dialysis patients, so that they can get about $600,000 to assist them with their dialysis,” Dr. Anthony said during his COVID-19 update, Thursday.

He said the assistance is a positive measure for dialysis patients who would otherwise have difficulty accessing such services.

The health ministry in association with the Pan- American Health Organisation/World Health organisation (PAHO/WHO), conducted an assessment of all the dialysis centres across Guyana.

We are working on some standards to ensure that we have quality care for the patients who would access these types of services,” Dr. Anthony said.

The Human Organ and Tissue Transplant Bill 2021 which was recently passed in the National Assembly, will see the setting up on an agency for a donor and patient registry to facilitate transplants.

“One of the main transplants that we have been doing relates to renal patients, people with end stage renal diseases and in most cases outside of dialysis, they really require transplant so this would facilitate helping them to get that transplant.”

Meanwhile, the Health Minister is encouraging persons with chronic kidney disease to take the COVID-19 vaccine.  He said COVID-19 in a person with chronic kidney disease, could cause ‘acute kidney injury.’

You can have disease of the glomerulus and in some patients, they have something that is called ‘covid associated nephropathy,’ which is associated with a disease of the glomerulus, and you can see that with persons who are affected with Covid, who have these types of kidney injuries,” Dr. Anthony informed.

He said however, that persons on dialysis or who benefitted from a kidney transplant should consult with their nephrologist before proceeding to take the vaccine. World Kidney Day is being celebrated under the theme “Kidney Health for All.”