ETHIOPIA – The Government of Qatar has signed agreement with the Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia to provide US$18 million for a kidney treatment center under construction in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The grant agreement was signed between State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe and Director-General of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari, representing the Government of Qatar.

The kidney center, which will be six story building, is expected to have 77 beds for treatment of patients with severe kidney problem.

It is also indicated that when completed, the new center is expected to provide kidney dialysis services and help combat the growing case of kidney problem in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia the prevalence of chronic kidney disease among hypertensive patients were considerably high, according to a study conducted in 2019 on adult hypertensive patients in Tigray teaching hospitals.

“Of the total 578 hypertensive patients the prevalence of chronic kidney disease was found to be 128 (22.1%). Age, overweight, uncontrolled hypertension and dyslipidemia (an abnormal amount of lipids (e.g. triglycerides, cholesterol and/or fat phospholipids) in the blood) were found to be associated factors of chronic kidney disease,” the study stated.

Upon completion, the Specialized Hospital will substantially alleviate shortage of dialysis service in the country and improving the quality of care for citizens, it was indicated.

In Sub Saharan Africa about 32.3% among hypertensive patients have chronic kidney disease.

Qatar has further promised to help Ethiopia’s public health sector, whose 100 million plus population heavily relies on, and remains vulnerable and in need of more government investment.

The Ethiopian Kidney Association sees the disease as “A serious public health problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people regardless of age and gender.”

“Proteinuria is one of the three leading causes of maternal mortality. Post-partum hemorrhage or major bleeding after giving birth is among the causes that lead to acute kidney injury in young women. Thus, the risk of women exposure to kidney related disease increases.” Its president, Lissane Seifu (MD) said.

As medical tourism gains more popularity within a small segment of the population, to nations such as India, Thailand and Kenya; there are still few specialized medical centers within the nation. It is to be recalled, the first kidney transplant in Ethiopia took place in 2015 at St. Paul’s Hospital.