SRIKAKULAM: Cases of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are on the high in Srikakulam, where more than 13 thousand persons, suffering from diseases related to kidney, were screened in the Uddanam area, alone. However, with no alternatives available, the patients have to go all the way to Visakhapatnam for conducting the AV Fistula surgery, which must be done prior to dialysis. Though the dialysis units are available in five different places in the district, the AV Fistula surgery, to be conducted prior to dialysis, still remains a problem.
More than 350 people are, at present, undergoing dialysis at the units in Srikakulam, Palasa, Tekkali, Palakonda and Sompeta, but there are no nephrologists available in the hospitals, except in the RIMS Medical College, which has a doctor on deputation, from Kurnool.
An 18-year-old BSC final year student, who is undergoing dialysis at a Srikakulam unit, said that he had been undergoing the process since 2015. Prior to dialysis, he underwent AV Fistula surgery at the My Cure hospital in Visakhapatnam. "Though the surgery is conducted under the NTR Vaidya Seva scheme, we had to spend more money on other treatments. The government granted pension to the dialysis patients, but we could not buy even half of the medicines with the given amount - Rs 2500, every month," he said.
In a similar incident, T Rama Rao, 60, a resident of Santabommali and undergoing dialysis at Srikakulam said that he underwent AV Fistula surgery at the KGH in Visakhapatnam almost six years ago. At the initial stages of his disease, he underwent dialysis too in a private hospital in Visakhapatam.
"I have been undergoing dialysis since 2015 in a private hospital in Visakhapatnam and that costs me around Rs 8,000 for medicine every month," said B Nagamma, a resident of Pedda Kojjiriya village in Kaviti mandal.
Considering the seriousness of the issue, we wrote to the higher ups, seeking Nephrology unit for Srikakulam RIMS, said RIMS director Dr. Krishna Veni. However, AV fistula surgery must be conducted in the presence of nephrologists and other super specialist doctors, she added.
District Coordinator for Hospital Services B Surya Rao said, "367 people are currently undergoing dialysis in five units functioning in various government hospitals across the district, while around 100 are undergoing dialysis in private hospitals in the district. The pension is given only to those undergoing dialysis in government hospitals," he said.
Speaking of medicines, he said that only erythropoietin injection is given to the patients undergoing dialysis on alternate days and that they would soon dispense medicine to the patients.
The patients and the grant they get
No. of patients undergoing dialysis at present in five govt units in district: 367
No. of patients undergoing dialysis in pvt hospitals: 100
Amount granted by the govt to patients undergoing dialysis in govt units: Rs 2500
The district has five dialysis units at different places - at Srikakulam, Palasa, Tekkali, Palakonda and Sompeta. However, there are no dedicated nephrology units in the district hospitals. Moreover, there are no nephrologists available in the hospitals, except in the RIMS Medical College, which has a doctor on deputation, from Kurnool.
For AV Fistula surgery, which must be done prior to dialysis, patients have to travel to Vizag, as the surgery cannot be done in the district. Moreover, AV Fistula surgery must be conducted in the presence of nephrologists and other super specialist doctors.
What is AV Fistula surgery?
Arteriovenous or AV fistula surgery is the most likely choice for vascular access, whenever possible. Vascular access is needed to take blood from the body, without any obstruction whatsoever, to the dialysis machine so that the blood might be cleaned and returned to the body
A surgeon creates the AV fistula, which is connecting a vein to an artery in the arm. This vein turns stronger and bigger, allowing free flow of blood to the dialysis machine from the body