The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, proceeded, yesterday afternoon, in Rose Belle, with the laying of the foundation stone for the new Renal Transplant Unit to be set up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital. The High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, Mrs Nandini K. Singla Several and several personalities were present on that occasion.
The new building, amounting to the tune of some Rs 557 million, will cover a surface area of 2,550 m2. It will house under one roof all the facilities and services offered as regards renal treatment, including: Water Treatment Plant, Blood Bank, Laboratory, Store Room, Renal Assessment Area, Diagnostics room to accommodate X-ray and Echo machines, Outpatients complex, Pharmacy, Sample collection and Dialysis Unit, amongst others.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister indicated that this Unit represents a turning point in the health service as it is a first of its kind being constructed. He observed that this initiative has been taken to ensure the best interest of the population, especially patients with kidney problems as some 1 500 patients, representing around 10% of the population in Mauritius, undergo dialysis treatment.
He remarked that a patient with a renal transplant has a longer life expectancy with a less restricted diet and fewer complications than one on dialysis. On this score, he pointed out that Government puts the health of the population at the forefront of its agenda, the proof being that Mauritius is one of the few countries to provide free dialysis treatments.
This initiative, Mr Jugnauth averred, follows discussions with the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Mr Narendra Modi, during his visit to Mauritius in 2017, who thereby agreed to finance the sum of Rs 440 million for this project. “This is yet another testimony of our exceptional bilateral relationship with India,” he added.
He went on to say that this Unit will not only be a major development for Mauritians but will be in line with Government’s objective of making Mauritius a regional medical hub and a centre of reference. “We want this Renal Unit to benefit not only our population, but also our fellow countries where this facility is not available,” Mr Jugnauth stressed.
Mr Jugnauth also spoke on the Amendment of the Human Tissue Removal Preservation and Transplantation Act in 2018 to widen the eligibility of becoming a donor from relatives to unrelated persons so as more patients are eligible for transplantation.
For his part, Minister Jagutpal highlighted the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle as according to statistics, two out of 10 persons suffer from diabetes. He informed that the Ministry disburses some Rs 300 000 yearly per patient who undergo dialysis treatment.
The Health Minister further outlined some initiatives taken by the Government as regards the health sector, including: the creation of a Stroke Unit at the Victoria Hospital; regular screening around the island; a new angiography device at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam National Hospital and; the upgrading of the Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
Speaking about the need to sensitise kidney disease patients and the population on the risk factors on renal diseases, the Minister lauded the excellent work of his Ministry in its endeavour to improve the care of patients with kidney disease by promoting the highest standard of medical practice.
Dr Jagutpal joined the Prime Minister to appeal to the population to indulge in physical activities so as to remain in good health. They both encouraged the public to take advantage of the numerous sports facilities put at their disposal across the country.