The Gambia Life Aid Organization by Alhagie Baldeh

Kidney disease and Dialysis Project Gambia

Like diabetics is kidney disease an increasing healthcare problem. Many people are suffering without knowing where to go. With this project we hope to improve the quality of life of these patient’s and help them to handle back again.

Problem statement

Kidney disease is one of the non-communicable diseases affecting the life of most young adults in their economically productive age with Hypertension and infection-related chronic glomerulonephritis as the major cause. Due to their unawareness of this problem, diagnosis and treatment are all delayed leading to poor outcome.

Nearly all forms of acute glomerulonephritis tend to progress to chronic glomerulonephritis. The condition is characterized by irreversible and progressive glomerular and tubulointerstitial fibrosis, ultimately leading to a reduction in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and retention of uremic toxins. If disease progression is not halted with therapy, the net results are chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and cardiovascular disease. Chronic glomerulonephritis is the third leading cause of CKD, and accounting for about 10% of all patients on dialysis.

The exact cause of CKD in patients with chronic glomerulonephritis may never be known in some patients. Therefore, it has generally been accepted that the diagnosis of CKD can be made without knowledge of the specific cause.

The lack of space to contain the increasing number of patients on dialysis remains a to be a tight burden as there is only one dialysis center in the whole Gambia. Shortage of resources (working materials) needed for dialysis is another contributing factor in the nephrology department. Family members who can afford approximately five thousands Dalasis to secure a dialysis catheter travel all the way to Dakar, sometimes in odd hours of the night to pay it for their beloved ones, leaving the rest of the family members desperate and losing hope on the survival of the patient. Those who cannot afford to buy a dialysis catheter, remain in the ward in critical health condition surrounded by relatives who wish to see their patient discharge home.

Aim of the project
  1. To prevent kidney diseases by initiating early diagnoses and treatment of illness or conditions that contribute to kidney failure.
  2. To make dialysis accessible and affordable to all patients with kidneys failure In the Gambia.
  3. To cut down the number of patients unable to receive dialysis due to the lack of transport from their destination to the center.
  4. To work/collaborate with other organizations to address NCDs in our communities.

Starting with the little idea we have made it possible for patients requiring dialysis to receive treatment. Especially Alhagie Baldeh, who is our contact person and the founder behind the idea started already with raise funds through contributions, and he has travelled all the way to Senegal to purchase some of the materials such as dialysis catheters and consumables needed to initiate dialysis for patients whose family cannot afford. He also provides plasters and surgical spirit to secure the catheter properly, necessary to protect the catheter and to prevent infection.

In the meantime, he has already engaged the management of EFSTH Hospital to find ways to require emergency dialysis but due to insufficient space and resources its not established yet.

Future plans
  • In order to reduce the burden or the increasing number of kidney failure cases in the Gambia, we have registered this project as a charity project inside Medics for Humanity. We will be conducting community screening on hypertension, Diabetes and performing urine Analysis to rule out proteinuria in our communities. This will be done by working with nurses, doctors and lab technicians in various communities. Patients with confirmed diabetes and hypertension will get their medications while those with proteineuria will be referred to a nephrologists or physician for review and proper management to prevent kidney disease. Patients with kidney failure who improve with dialysis will also be involved in the community sensitization activities to share their stories and experience in hemodialysis with others. Health Education on how hypertension and diabetes lead to kidney disease/failure a part of our activities.
  • We will work with individuals, organizations, the government and stakeholders to make dialysis readily available, accessible and affordable to all patients in The Gambia.

We need your help!

We pride ourselves on the fact that we, until today, financed everything in private. Our funding structure is now set up completely and we hope that we may rely on lots of donations around the world. At the end, our donors will fuel MFH’s work.