15 Sep 2011

Availability of dialysis treatment on Savaii a significant step

5:15 pm on 15 September 2011

The head of diabetes treatment in South Auckland says the opening of a second dialysis centre in Samoa is a significant improvement in health care.

Samoa's Ministry of Health started treating kidney failure patients yesterday in the newly built clinic on the country's largest island of Savaii, next to the Tuasivi hospital.

Dr Brandon Orr-Walker says dialysis is an intensive blood purifying treatment for people whose kidneys aren't working well enough.

He says half of all kidney failure is due to complications from diabetes.

He says it's no doubt a well considered move by the Samoan government to open a second dialysis centre based on the success of the clinic in Apia over the past few years.

"And it gives the other main island of Samoa the ability to manage people with kidney failure that, the thought of people having to transport across between the two major islands multiple times a week really, I'm sure is impractical, and its probably caused a lot of disruption for people on Savaii if they did not have a dialysis centre local to them."

The head of diabetes treatment in South Auckland, Dr Brandon Orr-Walker.