27 Jul 2004

Samoa opts for independence in dialysis

2:26 pm on 27 July 2004

Samoa says it's closer to providing its own treatment for people with diabetes.

The health minister says new dialysis machines could be in operation as soon as the end of the year, to treat the country's 40-thousand diabetics- that's more than a fifth of the population.

Mulitalo Siafausa Vui says it's too expensive to send increasing numbers of Samoans for dialysis treatment in New Zealand.

Mulitalo says a public education campaign aims to help Samoans to avoid diabetes in the first place.

"We try the best to provide our own discipline for our own dialysis patients here in Samoa; which is from our study, it's far better, less cost, to my government."

Mulitalo says a Samoan doctor is being trained in New Zealand to help operate the dialysis machines.