Samtse gets dialysis machines

Good news for the residents of Samtse as they can now avail themselves of Dialysis Services from the District Hospital. Until now, patients from the dzongkhag had to go to Phuentshogling or Thimphu for such services. The Health Ministry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA launched the hemodialysis service at the Samtse hospital today.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Chief Representative of the JICA Bhutan stated that the effective use of Dialysis machines will enable the patients in the district to now live with their families and stay connected to the community.

The Economic Affairs Minister who also attended the launch said that the new services will not only reduce pressure on family members but will also help address the economic and social difficulties faced by the kidney patients in Samtse.

Chronic kidney patients in the district are also thankful for the new initiative.

“It will be much better with a dialysis service here at Samtse as it is close to our house. While going to Phuentshogling for dialysis services, we have to stay with our relatives and it used to get uncomfortable at times,” said Choedrup, a kidney patient. “Now that we have the service here, it is much more convenient.”

Yeshi Wangmo, who is also a kidney patient, says she used to go to Phuentshogling.“It used to be very uncomfortable and we had to spend a lot of money. But now with the launch of dialysis service here, I feel it be easier for us and will benefit us a lot.”

According to the Bhutan Kidney Foundation, today there are nearly 300 kidney patients requiring dialysis services in the country.

“Without Dialysis service in the nearby health facility, patients have been facing problems related to transportation, food, and lodging,” said Tashi Namgay, the Executive Director of the Bhutan Kidney Foundation. “That’s why we feel that dialysis services should be made available in other districts as well.”

The new dialysis unit at the hospital will have three beds along with dialysis equipment. The support is part of a technical cooperation project supported by JICA which seeks to strengthen Bhutan’s Health Systems and Health Service Delivery.

Passang Dorji, Samtse

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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