Letsholathebe Faces Delayed Dialysis Cycles

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A Dialysis machine operated by a private citizen nephrologist in Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital which services renal disease patients from the Boteti area and the whole of Ngamiland is said to have been experiencing delayed cycles.

This was revealed by Ngami District Health Management Team (Ngami DHMT) Coordinator Dr Sandra Maripe when answering Bojanala Councilor Luke Motlaleselelo’s question on Friday during the North West District Council (NWDC) full council meeting. 

Motlaleselelo had requested to know if the government had abandoned renal disease patients since it has contracted a private company.

He further requested to know if three renal disease patients who recently passed on were due to failure to get dialysis services on time or not. Motlaleselelo further requested to know if renal disease patients were unable to receive services due to a shortage of commodities.  

Responding to the questions Maripe indicated that allegations of patients dying due to failure of receive dialysis services were untrue. She further noted that there has been no report of lack of dialysis commodities resulting in the death for both peritoneal and haemo-dialysis patients at Letsholathebe Hospital.

“None of the deaths are related to lack of commodities in the hospital,” Maripe said.

She however emphasised that there have been incidents of delay in dialysis cycles due to the change of membranes that filter water because the hospital Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant had malfunctioned.

 “After changing filters, they have to decontaminate the system before a patient can be connected, it takes about 3 hours. However, the deaths are not related to the malfunctioning of the RO in the hospital as that did not stop the clients from receiving the service,” Maripe said.

Patients from across Ngamiland suffering from renal disease were in September 2023 spared from traveling to Francistown for dialysis services when the government engaged a private nephrologist to provide the services at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital.

Renal diseases have been a challenge in Ngamiland particularly in the Shorobe catchment area. The area councilor Oabile Chombo is of the view that kidney diseases in his jurisdiction are caused by borehole water consumption provided by Water Utilities Corporation (WUC). He has however urged government to confirm factors behind the prevalence of the diseases in the district.

WUC Managing Director Paul Mafavune has however indicated that they have done tests that cleared water they supply residents as the cause of the prevalence of kidney diseases in the Shorobe area. He indicated that they have since engaged Okavango Research Institute (ORI) to study Shorobe people’s lifestyle in an effort to find the root cause.

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