The Rotary Club of Antigua (RCA) made a generous donation to Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) on Thursday, to mark World Kidney Day.
Their gift towards the hospital’s Dialysis Unit will help to fund a chronic kidney disease project, a release from the hospital stated.
Included in the projectare two dialysis machines along with an all-in-one water treatment delivery system which has the capability to convert any of the dialysis machines into a mobile unit; screening to target high risk patients (those with diabetes, hypertension, a first-degree relative with kidney failure, or persons over age 50); and an educational component that will focus on increasing awareness of good kidney health as well as more targeted efforts towards individuals at risk of chronic kidney disease or progression to kidney failure.
The overall estimated cost of the project is $212,000, a release said. The RCA, with support from partners Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank(ECAB)and the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission in the UK, has so far invested over $145,000 in the project, and a donation from the Renal Society of $67,000 financed the remainder of the project.
“We are incredibly grateful for the Rotary Club of Antigua and Renal Society’s [along with all the other partners] willingness to step up during this critical time. I won’t mince words, this donation will save lives,” said MSJMC nephrologist, Dr Ian Thomas.
“I’m so proud of the work our dialysis team is doing, managing our increasing patient load. There are always patients waiting to start dialysis – and what we all love about this project is that it not only focuses on the end – treatment – but a significant area of focus is prevention through screening and education.
“Rotary’s commitment to supporting the health of our community is extremely important and their partnership with our hospital has proven to be very beneficial.”
During the presentation ceremony, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Trade, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ambassador Anthony Liverpool, brought greetings on behalf of the High Commissioner to London, Ambassador Karen -Mae Hill.
“We really want to recognise the work of the Renal Society over the years in bringing awareness to chronic kidney disease. The High Commission of London is pleased to be associated with the purchase of equipment to support the dialysis needs of Antigua and Barbuda,” Ambassador Liverpool expressed.
Michael Spencer, general manager of ECAB, urged persons to take responsibility for their health, bearing in mind the strain that the country’s health system is currently experiencing especially with chronic kidney disease.
RCA President Kevin Silston added, “On our own, even with a strong desire to help, we are unable to solve big challenges – and that’s where Rotary comes in.
“When you give to the Rotary Club of Antigua, it goes towards addressing critical needs in the society such as this and we’re able to accomplish much more than we could otherwise dream.
“Our club is committed to this project for the long haul. Chronic kidney disease will continue to be the health focus of our club as well as the ongoing needs of the dialysis unit.
“When we support the hospital, we’re supporting the community – ultimately, that’s the goal of Rotary in any project as we seek to live up to our motto, service above self.”