A group of Bhutanese working with various United Nation agencies abroad as international staff and volunteers, as well as those who have had the opportunity to work abroad, have collectively donated 24 units of Haemodialysis Machine chairs to the health ministry.
The chairs worth Nu 1.285 million (inclusive of freight) will be used at the national and regional referral hospitals.
Sonam Tobgay, a former staff of United Nations, said the chair has been specifically designed for dialysis patients. “To make the lengthy recess during dialysis as comfortable as possible, this lounge chair is equipped with 90 mm thick comfort upholstery and it can be continuously adjusted from the normal sitting position into the shock position,” Sonam Tobgay said. “It is also a way of expressing our happiness to mark the most auspicious and joyous occasion of the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.”
One unit will go to the Central Regional Referral Hospital in Gelephu and 23 units to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s New Dialysis Block. “We hope and pray that our small contribution will stand to benefit the needs of the dialysis patients and help to alleviate their pains and sufferings by providing comfort during 4 hours of dialysis”.
Health Minister Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk thanked the team for the contribution and said there are 159 kidney patients undergoing maintenance haemodialysis in three referral hospitals. Dialysis requirement is three sessions in a week and each session cost Nu 1,415, which is a monthly cost of Nu 16,980 a person.
Lyonpo also said that 21 dialysis patients were referred to Vellore and Kolkata in India for kidney transplantation from July 2015 to July 2016. The cost estimated for 23 successful renal transplants in 2015, was Nu 20.7 million.
For hospital and transplant alone, the cost was estimated to be approximately Nu 700,000 – 800,000 excluding the Immuno suppressant drugs according to a JDWNRH report.