11 Mar 2011

Samoa's Savai'i island to get dialysis unit

12:34 pm on 11 March 2011

Work to establish a dialysis unit on the island of Savai'i in Samoa starts this month.

Two patients from Savai'i are among 120 on dialysis at the National Kidney Foundation of Samoa headquarters on Upolu, where the national hospital is located.

But the Chief Prevention Officer, Seve Malaetele Sefo, fears many sufferers of diabetes, high blood pressure, gout and other causes of kidney failure remain undetected on all islands.

Seve says dialysis treatment started in Samoa in 2005 with five patients, but now patients appear at the rate of 20 a year.

Health officials visit rural areas under a programme to boost early detection, but Seve says some patients go into denial when told they're at risk of kidney failure.