The new bill is being examined by the Ugandan parliament, which would change the lives of thousands of people waiting for surgery and make organ transplants possible for the first time in the nation.
In her mind’s eye, Annita Twongyeirwe saw a new future for herself.
The 28-year-old, however, has been consumed with either getting dialysis or planning for the next session ever since being diagnosed with renal failure three years ago.
She replies with a forlorn expression, “It has taken over my life.
Dialysis is the process of cleaning the blood of waste materials and extra fluids using a machine that basically replaces the kidneys.
She needs to visit the hospital twice weekly, and each treatment lasts around four hours. A relative’s home is where she spends most of her free time between sessions, helping out with housework when she can and keeping a watch on a WhatsApp group she started where friends and well-wishers may send money.
“I was this driven girl. I wished to continue my academic pursuits. All that life is cut short since I would most likely be someone’s wife or girlfriend. All of my dreams were destroyed by it “Adding, she
They could be revived by a kidney transplant.
However, the only other alternative, a procedure abroad, costs approximately $30,000 (£26,000), which is out of most people’s budget range.
Hundreds of Ugandans, like Ms. Twongyeirwe, who cannot afford this, continue to get dialysis as long as they can. Only a small portion of Uganda’s population can afford the therapy and pharmaceuticals, even at the subsidized price of about $100 per week, which is more than five times the average annual income in the country.
The sole public health institution in the nation that provides this service is the ward at Kiruddu National Referral Hospital on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, Kampala. With many of them coming great distances, the clinic sees around 200 patients on a regular basis.
However, they constitute a small portion of the nation’s population that suffers from renal disease and require specialized care.
“To live near to the hospital, they uproot their families and their means of support. This scenario is not normal “The sole renal expert employed by the facility is Dr. Daniel Kiggundu.
As nurses navigate between patients at dialysis stations, the ward is a cacophony of beeping equipment.
While some sit up and talk with their caregivers, other patients who are receiving therapy appear really frail and are dozing off and on.
Each of the two daily shifts at the clinic sees roughly 30 people. There is little time to get the patients ready for treatment as it runs perilously near to capacity.
In order to be prepared in time for her session, Ms. Twongyeirwe spends the night in the hospital.
In 2018, she first became aware that something was wrong when her entire body started to swell. It took her 18 months of hopping between clinics before she received the proper diagnosis.
Her entire world changed.
In addition to losing her employment, she was forced to leave the institution where she was majoring in law. In order to be near the hospital, she also relocated from her family’s home in western Uganda to Kampala.
With the exception of the plaster covering her arm, it is difficult to tell that the soft-spoken woman has just finished a dialysis treatment as she goes about her daily tasks at home, such as cleaning dishes.