Talk of the Town
Renal clinic in PA brings relief
Born in Dakar, the capital of West Africa’s Senegal, Thiecouta Traore was destined to take up an occupation in the medical field, as both his parents were doctors – his mother an anaesthesiologist and his father a gynaecologist.
“They tried to force me into medicine,” he said, “but I resisted becoming a medical doctor.”
Instead, Traore studied and joined medical equipment companies to learn his trade as a medical technician before finally attaining his PhD.
Traore specialised in renal devices after realising the need for the treatment for kidney disease was widespread and that he could do something about it.
Having moved to the Free State, Traore open his first clinic there using high-quality imported dialysis machines to treat all five stages of kidney disease and renal failure.
The machines act as artificial kidneys by maintaining the body’s balance by removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent these from building up in the body.
Traore named his clinic Graham and Kolff Renal Therapy or GKRT, after two of the founders of modern colloid chemistry. Thomas Graham was a Scottish chemist known for his pioneering work in dialysis and the diffusion of gases. Willem Johan Kolff was a Dutch doctor who constructed the first working dialyzer in 1943, during the Nazi occupation of the
Traore was worried about the distances that some of his patients had to travel to receive treatment and therefore opened several branches around SA.
When it was suggested to him to open a GKRT branch in Port Alfred, he was more than happy to oblige.
He showed Talk of the Town around the building he is currently refitting. It is a huge area where patients will be able to relax and unwind, with a recovery room, kitchen, waste-disposal section and consulting rooms. Traore’s wife, Nkateko, handles the administration side of the clinic.
Now known affectionately as ‘Mr T’ or ‘Dr T’, Traore said: “I want to offer the services of the clinic to everyone in the area and am working with local doctors, among others, to make this a reality.
“I’d like to suggest to the public health care side that if they used our services it would be cheaper than transporting patients to East London or Port Elizabeth or even Makhanda/ Grahamstown for treatment.”