A child under the age of 5 years and a 10 year old are among patients receiving dialysis and this is causing concern to the medical profession.
The president of the National Kidney Foundation Papalii Dr Sam Petaia expressed sadness to Newsline over this unfortunate development in Samoa for these children are undergoing dialysis early in their life.
The child under 5 had his kidneys affected as a result of getting pneumonia and having skin disease. Papalii said the only option for the child to stay alive was to undergo dialysis.
Papalii highlighted the importance of children to be vaccinated and for parents to make sure that their children receive all the required immunization vaccinations not only part.
Papalii pointed the case of the child under 5 years case that kidney diseases can also be caused by contracting communicable diseases.
“This child is neither obese nor diabetic but has kidney problems because of communicable diseases.”
With the Pacific Games coming up it makes it more crucial for parents to make sure that their children get their immunization vaccinations Papalii said.
“ A large number of people will be congregating in Samoa during the Games and there is a possibility of someone coming with a communicable disease and it is for this reason parents must ensure that their children are vaccinated to protect them.
“ Children when they are not vaccinated will make them vulnerable to getting kidney diseases because their immunity is low.”
Cleanliness, good hygiene and eating healthy food are also highlighted by Papalii in keeping the children healthy
He also warns against children taking antibiotics, this he said should be only be done at a prescription of a medical doctor. He gave the same advice for the adults and for those taking drugs for gout.
But he emphasises the message that prevention is better than cure in the fight against kidney diseases.
Kidney diseases are caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and gout Papalii explained.
Kidney diseases he said are coming up all the time and it is why they are going strong on raising awareness on this disease.
Currently there are 300 to 400 people in the pre-dialysis stage and we are trying to prevent them from undergoing dialysis Papalii said.
Samoa is the first country in the Pacific to set up a dialysis unit which is funded by the government and donations from some of the churches and organizations.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said that despite being approached by several senior doctors not to set up the dialysis unit because it was expensive government went ahead and did it.
The cost of running the unit continues to skyrocket. Last year it was $6.8 million and this year it is $7.5 million. The increase is due to the rising number of people having kidney diseases.