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South Sudan unveils first Kidney hospital

October 21, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Thursday opened the country’s first-ever kidney hospital in the capital Juba, describing it as breakthrough in the health sector.

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Juba Hospital’s maternity ward (Photo: Hannah McNeish/IRIN)

The facility, officials said, seeks to provide free services to all kidney patients, including foreigners who lived there for at least six months.

The state of-the-art hospital, built by Al Cardinal group of companies, has 10 dialysis machines and a capacity to treat at least 50 patients a day, although no transplants will be performed for the time being.

Dr. Maker Isaac, the director of Juba Teaching Hospital, said the facility could receive 20 patients each month, but that the majority of kidney patients would be referred to other countries for treatment.

According to Maker, large numbers of patients have suffered from suspected kidney diseases in the past, many of whom died because there were no facilities available to treat or diagnose the disease.

"People die in front of us and we believe this death can be prevented simply by cleaning the blood of the patient, but we were unable to do anything. We just watch them die," he told VOA Friday.

He added, "Now, kidney patients can receive treatment, free of charge. This will make a very huge impact in the care of the patients in South Sudan.”

Less than 50% of South Sudan’s population have access to health care services, an indication the country has one of the lowest health pointers in the world, statistics show.

(ST)