In what could be a big relief for the kidney patients from backward Palnadu region in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, the state government has granted dialysis centers for Narasaraopet and Macherla towns. The new dialysis centers will be set up in the local government hospitals. While Narasaraopet center will have eight-bed capacity, Macherla center will serve seven patients at a time. At present, two dialysis centers – one each at Government General Hospital (GGH), Guntur city and district government hospital at Tenali – are in operation. The victims of kidney ailments from Palnadu region are compelled to visit Guntur city by travelling at least 150-200 km for treatment as there is no dialysis center in the vicinity. In fact, getting treatment in Guntur center too is not that easy as the bed strength is very limited. “Patients should either wait for their turn at GGH or spend monies to get treatment from the private hospitals. Since, many of the people coming all the way from Macherla, Vinukonda areas are poor, they are forced to wait for their turn at GGH,” said a senior medical officer at GGH.
The launch of new dialysis centers in Narasaraopet and Macherla would be of great help for the poor and also reduce the work load on GGH center. Sources said that majority of the patients who are undergoing treatment for kidney ailment are from Palnadu region. “There could be multiple reasons for more number of people from Palnadu region suffering from kidney ailments. Dependence on high fluoride content ground water, high consumption of pesticides in the agriculture fields in addition to the country-made liquor could be the reasons,” observed senior nephrologist Dr Chinta Ramakrishna. He noted that at least three out of the four patients undergoing treatment in Guntur hospitals are from Palnadu region. About 58 patients were undergoing dialysis in GGH per day. The dialysis center in GGH had handled about 1659 sessions of dialysis in the last one month. This means that the Center is treating not less than 50 patients a day from which at least 25-30 are from Palnadu region. Dialysis centers in Narasaraopet and Macherla to be operationalized shortly. Narasaraopet center to have eight beds and Macherla center seven beds. With at least 60-70 percent existing patients at GGH, Guntur are from Palnadu region, the new center would help patients cut down their travel time and also costs. People from Palnadu region are prone to kidney ailments. Experts believe that dependence of high volume fluoride water, usage of high content of pesticides in the agriculture fields could be the reason for kidney diseases. Air-pollution being caused by cement factories and lime kiln units too could be the reason. – TOI