MANCHESTER RENAL PATIENTS GET BOOST
With renal patients who require dialysis having to pay up to $45,000 per week for treatment, Jamaica Standard Products has committed to making annual donations to the Renal Department of the Mandeville Regional Hospital (MRH) to offset costs and supplies.
John Minott, managing director of Jamaica Standard Products, made a donation of $650,000 last Thursday at a handover ceremony. He said the facility has received over $1.5 million over the last three years from proceeds from the company's High Mountain Coffee 10K road race.
"The High Mountain Coffee 10K road race is mandated to assist needy projects in our community and, over the past three years, we have been partnering with the Mandeville Regional Hospital to contribute to their renal department ... . We recognise so many people who are affected with kidney disease year after year and it is in this regard that Jamaica Standard Products offers financial assistance to purchase much-needed supplies for the department."
Everton McIntosh, senior medical officer, MRH, while explaining the magnitude of end-stage renal failure, said persons should take preventative measures as treatment is costly and sometimes inaccessible.
"This is the only dialysis unit in the public sector outside of Kingston and the south coast. There's none in Clarendon and none in St Elizabeth and the capacity to handle patients with end-stage kidney disease is very limited ... . It is also very expensive. You're looking at $15,000 per treatment, and ideally, you need three treatments per week, but the reality is, most persons can only afford two or one ... . Persons have mortgaged their houses, sold their cars because, without effective dialysis, the end result is death."
McIntosh also noted that several persons are currently on a long waiting list and will only have the chance to go on the machine if someone migrates or dies.
But while so many have passed on, renal patient Delroy Campbell is pleased to have witnessed the expansion of the dialysis unit.
"I remember, before the expansion, the space was so tight, but now the nurses can move freely because we in a bigger space. I have been going through this for 10 years now, and it's something that has been in my family ... my brother needed a kidney and when I went to do tests to see if I could help, the doctor said 50 per cent a mine nuh good. My daughter isn't a patient as yet, but she has renal failure as well ... . If it wasn't for these donations and the nurses and doctors at the hospital, I don't know what would happen ... . Many have passed on, but we who are here have to do what we have to do," he said.