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These units will make dialysis more affordable

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, AUG. 18. Purushotham is a tea seller; his daily earnings are Rs. 80. He is one of the patients being treated at Tamilnad Kidney Research (TANKER) Foundation who will be benefited by three more subsidised dialysis units donated on Tuesday.

The Foundation treats 42 patients, including Sudha from Tindivanam, who cannot afford the dialysis (which normally costs between Rs. 800 and Rs.1,500). The haemodialysis machines and its accessories donated by the people and the Government of Japan would help treat 18 more patients at a subsidised cost of Rs. 500 per dialysis.

Unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion at Rekha Memorial TANKER Foundation Subsidised Dialysis Unit, Ryuzo Kikuchi, Consul-General of Japan, said the scheme worth Rs. 25 lakhs was taken up under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects of the Japanese Government.

Noting that diabetes and hypertension were the chief causes for kidney diseases, he said setting up of such community healthcare units must be encouraged.

Explaining the work of TANKER Foundation, Rajalakshmi Ravi, a trustee, said it had performed about 18,000 dialyses for about 260 patients since its inception in 1993.

About 300 dialyses were performed every month with 7 dialysis units. The Foundation expects to add about 140 more dialyses per month with the new machines.

It also performed about 90 dialyses free under the `Sponsor a dialysis' scheme to cater to kidney patients from underprivileged sections.

The founder-trustee, Georgi Abraham, said the foundation wanted to start more such centres in the city. The dean and director of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan group of schools, Mrs.Y.G. Parthasarthy, wanted awareness programmes on kidney diseases to be conducted all over the State.

The Vice-Consul of Japan, Keiko Nakano, also participated in the function. The speakers said more screening camps were required for early detection of kidney diseases.

For funding the needy patients, the foundation could be contacted at 28273407 or 28241635.

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