More kidney patients go to Lira Regional Referral Hospital for dialysis

(Last Updated On: 12 June 2023)

Lira, June 12, 2023: Lira Regional Referral Hospital is overwhelmed by the growing number of kidney patients that require dialysis in the hospital. The hospital is the only facility managing the illness in the greater Northern region.

The hospital through the help of Kiruddu National Referral Hospital has established a Unit of four beds capacity to manage patients that require dialysis.

According to the director of Lira Regional Referral Hospital Dr Nathan Onyachi, being the only regional referral hospital with this service, they are now receiving patients across the country who seeks treatments.

“And right now, we have close to 20 patients undergoing dialysis, yes, every day. So, you might have had that this week alone we had 29 dialysis sessions,” the hospital director said in an interview.

The director further alluded that the hospital has attached a modest cost of shs 80,000 per session since some of the components of the parts of the dialyzer or dialysis machine are expensive.

Peter Okello Odeke, the Principal Administrator of Lira Regional Referral Hospital says Kiruddu National Referral Hospital, as part of their agreement is training a doctor and two nurses to manage the Unit since there are no doctors with the required expertise to manage it.

“The special categories of patients we give priority to are pregnancy-related renal failure, children, and other categories of acute kidney injury,” Okello said.

He added that the management is embarking on identifying more carders from other facilities to be trained to ensure the facility runs effectively, adding that the establishment of the Unit is saving more patients from going up to Kampala to access the same services.


Brenda Atim, a resident of Lira City who visited a patient at the same Unit said, bringing the dialysis to Lira helped them and saved them from the burden of spending on transport to Kampala for these services.

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“Our challenge is now paying shs 80,000 per session, we still think the government should intervene so that even the patients who are peasants can afford,” Atim told TND News.

Other dialysis centers are based at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kiruddu National Referral Hospital and Mbarara Referral Hospital

Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala has 26 Hemodialysis machines and 4 Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CCRT) machines while Kiruddu National Referral Hospital also in Kampala, an affiliate of Mulago National Referral Hospital, has 30 dialysis machines.

The Ministry of Health officials say there are several other machines in the private health facilities to support Nephrology and related issues.

Chronic kidney disease and related complications have emerged as one of the leading causes of death in Uganda. Despite this, Dr Charles Kabugo is helping most public health facilities to have the equipment with specialized personnel to help deal with the increasing number of kidney-related complications.

Dialysis is the process of removing excess water and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally.

However, while the process is crucial for long life among patients with kidney diseases, Uganda still struggles with the availability of dialysis machines.

Properly functioning kidneys prevent extra water, waste, and other impurities from accumulating in your body. They also help control blood pressure and regulate the levels of chemical elements in the blood.

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