The Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) is a referral hospital serving over 11 million people in the Northern zone of Tanzania with a capacity of 450 beds. It is a huge complex with well over 1000 staff members and several outpatients and visitors coming to the center each day. It also serves as a teaching hospital for the Tumaini University Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College.
Because of the double burden of both communicable diseases (HIV, Hepatitis, Malaria) and ever increasing non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes/hypertension etc.. ) the hospital is experiencing an increasing incidence of kidney diseases.
At the KCMC, many efforts were made to provide dialysis services to patients. However, sustainability of these services has been a challenge due to lack of trained staff (Nephrologists and Nephrology nurses), equipment and supplies, supportive services (laboratory), and medications.
To address these challenges, the KCMC was involved in The Saving Young Lives project in 2012.
After the initial help of the Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation (SKCF) in providing equipment, supplies and a short training to perform peritoneal dialysis, in 2012 the Saving Young Lives partnership (ISN, IPNA, ISPD and SKCF) started training and education activities at the KCMC.
A Sister Renal Centre partnership was formed via the well-established mentorship program from the ISN, linking the KCMC in Moshi with the Queens hospital in Canada. Several training and workshops on PD catheter insertion were organized for both nurses and doctors at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, in Cape Town, South Africa
Given the lack of awareness and information regarding AKI, the center has also been involved in educational and awareness increasing activities. Some of the major initiatives have been the development informational, educational and communication materials, and the creation of outreach programs.
Only in the first year, 38 patients with kidney injury were treated at KCMC. Dialysis was performed in 25 cases thanks to the acquired knowledge and 81% of patients were saved.
Thanks to the Saving Young Lives project progress at KCMC has been excellent and it is now close to being a freestanding sustainable service.
“Before the start of the program, patients treated with PD used to die in large numbers because of infections related to the procedure. Thanks to the healthcare staff training and the availability of new material (PD fluid bags, sterilized catheters, etc…), the infection rates decreased dramatically and none of the patients treated at the KCMC had major complications caused by the procedure. The center has been the huge improvement of the survival rate of patients treated with PD!”.
Dr Kajiru Kilonzo, Sudakshina Ghosh and Karen Yeates from the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center.