Health Minister Banna Gupta on Tuesday inaugurated a dedicated Nephrology department at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi – a move which is likely to bring relief to the kidney patients in State. Many kidney patients had to reportedly run from pillar to post for dialysis amid Coronavirus fear in the state, sources said.
The State's largest government-run health facility has also recruited its first expert Nephrologist, Dr. Pragya Pant, who will take charge of the department, Gupta said. “Now, kidney patients will get necessary medical attention at RIMS. We will also be able to conduct kidney transplants in the near future," he said.
The fear of Covid-19 transmission in Jharkhand caused major problems for kidney patients, who required dialysis on a regular basis, as private dialysis centres downed their shutters here after one such centre was sealed in Ranchi.
The sealed centre had conducted dialysis of a Hindpiri woman, who later tested postive for Covid-19. The doctors and staff at the said dialysis centre were subsequently put in quarantine, which triggered fear among the owners and staff of private dialysis centres here.
Despite the government's push for keeping dialysis and chemotherapy centres open during the lockdown, several private dialysis centres have remained closed, causing panic among kidney patients, a member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in Ranchi said. As many as five kidney patients also died in the city after being denied dialysis due to the fear of Covid-19 transmission, sources said.
“We have four dialysis machines here that are functional. At a time when many private hospitals have surrendered to Covid-19, government hospitals are catering to the medical needs of people," Gupta said, appreciating the efforts put in by government hospitals during the lockdown.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued elaborate guidelines for treatment of kidney patients amid Covid-19 restrictions. As per the guidelines, every state should identify and earmark at least one hemodialysis facility with adequate number of dialysis machines, trained staff, reverse osmosis (RO) water system and other support equipment as preparatory fixed-point dialysis unit in case of rise of Covid-19 cases. The ministry also specifies that those with comorbidities such as kidney diseases were at a higher risk of Covid-19 transmission and fatality.