KUNAK: Kunak residents can heave a sigh of relief, now that a haemodialysis unit at the Kunak Hospital has begun operations today.
With the opening of the unit equipped with 10 dialysis machines, patients afflicted with kidney ailment need no longer seek treatment at the Tawau Hospital, about 90km from Kunak.
Officiating the opening of the unit, Sabah Assistant Rural Development Minister Datuk Nilwan Kabang said about 60,000 Kunak residents should be pleased to note that the state government had provided the relevant medical facilities, including the haemodialysis unit.
He said previously, kidney patients had no choice but to seek treatment in Tawau or Semporna.
“With the opening of the unit here, Kunak Hospital can assist the Tawau Hospital or Semporna Hospital in giving treatment to the patients,” said the Kunak assemblyman in his speech here today.
Earlier, state health department senior principal assistant director (medical) Dr Abdul Kahar Abdul Asisi said the Kunak Hospital had built good links with non-governmental organisations andthe private sector, including
hospitals under cluster programme, in giving haemodialysis treatment.
He said eight of the dialysis machines at the Kunak Hospital were provided by the health ministry while the rest were sponsored by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority.
The haemodialysis unit is open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday. Dr Abdul Kahar said kidney failure cases in the state had increased by about 19 per cent over the past five years.
He said a total of 1,213 kidney failures were recorded in 2011, as compared to 1,440 cases last year.
“Every year, many people suffer from the disease, not only in Sabah but also nationwide,” he said, adding that the public should practise healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and regular excercise to prevent the disease.- BERNAMA