28 Oct 2017

Samoa notes huge climb in dialysis numbers

2:33 pm on 28 October 2017

Health officials in Samoa say a huge increase in the numbers undergoing dialysis treatment is alarming and should be a wake up call for the country.

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A needle is inserted for dialysis. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The manager of Renal Services, Christina Poloai, told the Samoa Observer that when dialysis started in Samoa in 2005 there were six patients, but now there are 103 patients.

The general manager of the National Kidney Foundation, Mulipola Iose Hazelman, said the last survey showed 23 per cent of Samoa's population as either diabetic or suffering hypertension.

He said 80 percent of patients on dialysis started from unmanaged diabetes or unmanaged high blood pressure.

He told the paper an awareness campaign and free screening is being run in partnership with the Women in Business and medical students from the National University of Samoa.

Mulipola said this involved going to villages, giving lectures and offering assistance to those with chronic diseases.

He said the numbers would keep climbing because Samoa had a huge, non-communicable disease burden.