The first kidney transplantation unit at Chitungwiza Central Hospital is nearing completion and the laminar air-flow equipment that reduces the rate of infection in theatres which has delayed the resumption of the surgeries has now been installed.

Many Zimbabweans have been eagerly awaiting the commencement of kidney transplants at the Sally Mugabe Renal Institute at Chitungwiza Hospital as a permanent exit from haemodialysis.

The burden of renal failure continues to rise in the country and high costs of dialysis has seen many people succumbing to renal failure.

The hospital has set up a facility in the theatres that will be able to accommodate both the kidney recipient and the kidney donor during the transplantation process said Chitungwiza Hospital chief executive Dr Obediah Moyo.

The project to be run by Chitungwiza Central Hospital in conjunction with Apollo Group of Hospitals from India will save huge sums in foreign currency as chronic kidney patients will no longer have to travel outside the country for transplants. 

Setting up of the unit has not been easy because of limited resources but Dr Moyo said some medical and technical staff have been sent on a study and familiarisation tour of Johannesburg General Hospital and Milpark Hospital in South Africa and they are now properly equipped.

A team from Apollo Hospital was at Chitungwiza Hospital last week assessing the installations made to date.

The resumption of kidney transplants will bring relief to renal patients who have to fork out between $150 and $200 per session of haemodialysis in public institutions and up to $250 at private hospitals.

Renal patients are required to have two dialysis sessions per week for life or until they have a transplant done.