Bangladeshi physicians provide non-profit kidney treatments

By Xinhua

Dhaka : A group of Bangladeshi physicians is providing non-profit kidney treatment, including transplants and dialyses, to the country’s poor.

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The physicians set up the Kidney Foundation hospital in the capital Dhaka in 2003 to treat patients who can’t afford the costly treatment for chronic kidney diseases.

The non-profit treatment programme has helped save a lot of poor people.

Obaidul Huq, 52, has been taking dialysis for the last four years in the foundation as both his kidneys are damaged: “I am taking dialysis twice a week. It costs me only 650 taka (around $9) per dialysis, which is affordable.”

“If I go to other hospitals, I will have to pay around 4,000 taka for one dialysis,” he added.

Anima Gosh, 40, said she had undergone a kidney transplant in the foundation.

“I got a new life after the transplant,” she said. She said it cost just 150,000 taka (around $2,142) in the foundation, which is impossible outside.

Harun Rashid, president of the Kidney Foundation, said they conducted the first kidney transplant Sep 3, 2006. Today, they perform one to two kidney transplants every week. The success rate is around 98 percent.

According to a recent survey in the rural and urban population, Bangladesh has 18 to 20 million chronic kidney patients. The majority of the patients remain undiagnosed until they reach end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Harun said ESRD patients are treated either through dialysis or transplant. Both the treatments are costly.

He said 70 percent of patients start dialysis, but stop after three months as they can’t afford the treatment.

It was the plight of these patients prompted the group to take up the initiative.

Kidney transplant is not as expensive as dialysis. But kidney donors are scarce in the country, Harun said.