A major fundraising concert is planned for next month to support the heavily-used kidney dialysis unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The announcement today coincided with the observance of World Kidney Day today.
The concert which will headline internationally acclaimed Jazz artiste Rosemary Philips, who is also one of the organizers, is scheduled to be held on April 4 at the Frank Collymore Hall.
It will be sponsored by Capita Financial Services Inc. The Central Bank of Barbados is helping to meet the production cost of the show in memory of a late employee, former senior economist Dr. Roland Craigwell, who lost his life to kidney disease.
During a press conference this morning, Capita’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Maxwell said the concert was the first major fundraiser supported by his company. He indicated it marked the beginning of a collaborative effort to support persons battling kidney disease.
Maxwell said based on information made available to him by Consultant Nephrologist at QEH Dr. Lisa Belle, the Dialysis or Artificial Kidney Unit is open six days a week, running three dialysis shifts a day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The unit has 22 hemodialysis machines and should ideally accommodate 132 patients on three shifts. At present, however, the unit is providing hemodialysis to 195 patients.
He said the QEH also outsourced dialysis for the care of an additional 24 patients, all of whom receive hemodialysis three times a week. On the other hand, two-thirds of the patients at QEH are treated only twice weekly, due to limited resources.
“New patients are being added to the hemodialysis programme at an average rate of 3-4 patients per month and to peritoneal dialysis at QEH,” the Capita Financial CEO said.
The estimated cost of hemodialysis per patient is $62 400 and $52 000 in the case of peritoneal dialysis. The annual operating cost for hemodialysis is approximately $12.9 million, which accounts for 10 per cent of the health budget.
These costs are expected to more than double in the next 10 years, if current trends continue.
Margarette Wilson, president of the Barbados Kidney Association, said the biggest problem in the dialysis unit at the moment was the absence of a non-nursing support person to assist patients while they were on the machines.
“As they are doing dialysis, they may need somebody to get something for them and the nurses are really busy. Therefore, we are asking that we get someone to help in that area,” Wilson said.
Some of the proceeds from the concert will go towards that cause and supporting the association’s other services.
The concert will also feature veteran Barbadian musician Lloyd Wilson who is based in Chicago. Gabby, Tamara Marshall, Marisa Lindsay, Paula Hinds and the Police band are the other performers.