Buea, Cameroon-Monday January 15, 2018-12:00 PM Local Time (Cameroon News Agency) Kidney failure patients at the Buea Regional Hemodialysis center, can now smile and hope for a better future, after the visit of Ms. Iya Bekondo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Iya Foundation, a U.S. based 501c3 non-profit organization.
During the foundation’s meet and greet event with patients and staff at the facility recently, Ms. Bekondo was briefed on the prevailing situation of patients at the center by Mr. Tambe George, President of the Cameroon Association of Dialysis and Kidney Transplant and Patients, CADKTP-SW. According to Mr. Tambe, the center has limited machines, with only 9 properly functioning, resulting in a drawback in providing treatment to the many patients who come to the facility for care, thereby putting the patients in a desperate and critical situation.
He lamented at the frequent shortage of materials needed to perform dialysis treatment, causing them to go for days and weeks on an irregular dialysis schedule which unfortunately negatively affects the overall quality of health for most patients and some losing their lives as a result. “That is why from time to time we have to engage on a strike action when materials are finished, to force the government to react promptly”, Mr. Tambe told Iya.
After the conversation with Mr. Tambe, Ms. Bekondo who was visiting the center for the first time, said this year, The Iya Foundation, http://www.theiyafoundation.org, is very much focused on the social welfare of dialysis patients and looks forward to working in collaboration with all those involved in the supply chain of providing kidney dialysis kits in an effort to alleviate the material shortage crisis. She said though the process maybe slow with regards to administrative procedures, patients should demonstrate resilience and educate themselves on home remedies and other holistic approaches that could help sustain them.
The founder of The Iya Foundation encouraged patients to learn a trade or vocational skill that may help them continue to generate some sort of income, as well as keep them active, and distract them from the monotony of dealing with a chronic illness like kidney failure. She emphasized on creating programs through the Foundation that will help to supplement the social wellbeing of patients, such as feeding, and even fun extracurricular activities to help buffer the stress of being sick and the struggles it takes to fight the disease.
She also emphasized on the need for education, counseling and awareness, of patients and caretakers on all aspects of the kidneys and kidney disease. She encouraged caretakers to be patient with their sick love ones, and advised the patients to be mindful of how they interact with their caretakers considering the range of emotions they sometimes have to deal with.
To round off, Ms. Bekondo promised to work on generating clinical materials that would help to enhance the quality of care the patients received at the clinic.
It was her first time to visit the Hemodialysis center but other members of The Iya Foundation have been visiting the hospital for other events.
In previous years, the Foundation has donated millions of Francs CFA, as well as clinical supplies to support the different programs implemented at the clinic.