ST. LUCIA’S Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Frederick, is calling on St. Lucians to live a healthy lifestyle so as to avoid kidney failure.
Her plea comes amid the expansion of the dialysis programme at hospitals across the country and the increasing number of St. Lucians suffering with kidney disease, most of whom simply cannot afford to pay for their treatments.
The programme is being expanded at St. Jude Hospital, Victoria Hospital and particularly at the Owen King-EU Hospital (OKEUH) on the Millennium Highway, as health authorities prepare to make it operational later this year.
Acting Chief Health Planner, Dwight Calixte, said the OKEUH, which is already equipped and ready to offer its services to the public, will boast twelve dialysis machines, with two of them to be placed in isolation and the remaining ten in the general open area.
He said the machines at Victoria Hospital, which are nearing their end, will be upgraded to be on par with those at the OKEUH, as well as those at St. Jude Hospital.
The machines for the OKEUH are presently being installed and within a few weeks to a month will be commissioned, Calixte said, adding that once the machines are given the all-clear, they will be put in use immediately. At St. Jude, six machines will be installed.
The whole idea, Calixte said, is to have a standard service as it pertains to the treatment of people suffering with the various stages of kidney disease.
Meanwhile, Frederick wants St. Lucians to eat healthy, avoid alcohol and smoking, have regular exercise and “do all the things needed to be done to keep healthy.”