Chongqing - The 13th Chinese medical team in Papua New Guinea (PNG) recently inaugurated the first hemodialysis treatment at Port Moresby General Hospital, marking a significant advancement in local public healthcare. Previously, the hospital, the only public medical facility in Port Moresby, lacked the equipment and expertise for hemodialysis, forcing patients to seek costly treatments in private clinics.
Wen Yan, deputy chief physician of the Department of Nephrology in the 13th Chinese medical team to PNG and the Nephrologist of the Ninth People's Hospital of Chongqing, discovered a high prevalence of kidney disease and inadequate treatment facilities upon her arrival at Port Moresby General Hospital. "Although the hospital possesses necessary equipment donated by other countries, it remains unused due to the staff's unfamiliarity with its operation, rendering the hemodialysis room non-functional," she said.
In early 2024, the hospital's hemodialysis room began offering treatments following extensive preparations, including room design, equipment commissioning, and staff training. Sierra, a long-time resident of Port Moresby and the first patient treated experienced significant relief from her uremia symptoms following her session, which Dr. Wen personally conducted.
This development is a major step forward for PNG's public medical system, particularly in treating kidney diseases. The hemodialysis room, equipped with two machines, offers free treatments to patients, a significant reduction from private clinic costs of about 1,000 Kina (267 U.S. dollars) for each treatment. Plans are in place to eventually charge a nominal fee, which will be about 300 Kina once, still substantially lower than private options.
The Chinese medical team remains committed to ongoing training and patient education in PNG, aiming to leave a lasting impact on local healthcare capabilities for kidney disease treatment.
(Cheng Jialu, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)
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