Cancer and re­nal pa­tients leave for In­dia

Sunday Express - - NEWS - Nthatuoa Koeshe News 7

THE first batch of cancer and re­nal pa­tients are sched­uled to de­part to­day for In­dia where they will un­dergo treat­ment at the Apollo Group of Hos­pi­tals in the Asian coun­try.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Health, Man­thabiseng Phohleli an­nounced this at a re­cent press con­fer­ence in Maseru.

The pa­tients’ med­i­cal trip fol­lows a visit to Le­sotho by a team of In­dian doc­tors from Apollo Hos­pi­tals who as­sessed and treated pa­tients in April this year.

The April tour was part of the 2016 agree­ment be­tween In­dia and Le­sotho for reg­u­lar ex­change trips that will help Le­sotho in the treat­ment of cancer and re­nal dis­eases.

Apollo Hos­pi­tals houses In­dia’s lead­ing spe­cial­ist med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties with more than 5000 doc­tors that of­fer high qual­ity health­care.

Ms Phohleli said the govern­ment would pay the costs for the eight pa­tients who will travel with some lo­cal doc­tors. The lo­cal doc­tors will en­rol into an in­tern­ship pro­gramme that will en­able them to ac­quire skills from their In­dian coun­ter­parts.

“The in­tern­ship is aimed at im­prov­ing health ser­vices in Le­sotho so that in fu­ture those health ser­vices will be ac­cessed lo­cally,” Ms Phohleli said.

In April this year, the Min­istry of Health’s di­rec­tor gen­eral, Nyane Let­sie, told this pub­li­ca­tion that the In­dian doc­tors had iden­ti­fied 100 pa­tients who needed ur­gent treat­ment in In­dia.

“We re­alised that it was time we pri­ori­tised cancer as we have lost many lives. What is wor­ry­ing is that pa­tients who book for treat­ment in Bloem­fontein are made to wait for months be­fore be­ing taken in as the hos­pi­tal pri­ori­tises the treat­ment of South Africans.

“Cancer is un­for­giv­ing and does not give any­one time to wait for ad­mis­sion. It con­tin­ues to spread and some peo­ple do not sur­vive long enough to be treated so the part­ner­ship with Apollo Hos­pi­tals will make it pos­si­ble for us to take our cancer pa­tients to In­dia,” Dr Let­sie said.

He also said that treat­ment in In­dia was sig­nif­i­cantly cheaper than in South Africa.

“A kid­ney trans­plant costs M200 000 in In­dia while it costs any­thing from M750 000 to M800 000 in Bloem­fontein,” Dr Let­sie said.

Dr Let­sie said the part­ner­ship with In­dia would help to strengthen the ca­pac­ity and in­fra­struc­ture of lo­cal health fa­cil­i­ties. He added that the lo­cal doc­tors would be trained for at least three years be­fore they can treat pa­tients on their own.

The Min­is­ter of Health, Nkaku Kabi, said plans were un­der­way for Le­sotho to es­tab­lish its own cancer cen­tre. He said work would be­gin later this month af­ter the 22 July 2018 con­fer­ence on cancer that will be hosted by the First Lady, Mae­sa­iah Tha­bane.

Three former United States first ladies Hil­lary Clin­ton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are ex­pected to at­tend along with their hus­bands, Bill Clin­ton, Ge­orge Walker Bush and Bar­rack Obama re­spec­tively.

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