– Vincent Mugyenyi, a 65-year-old retired pilot from the Ugandan Air Force, has lost count of how many dialysis treatment slots he has had to attend in the eight years he has been fighting chronic kidney disease.
He spends eight hours a week on a dialysis machine in Mulago National Referral Hospital that filters toxins from his blood, performing the functions of healthy kidneys. The ultimate aim of dialysis is to bridge a gap until kidney functions recover or until a transplant is available for patients.
“I used to have a small farm with about one hundred animals. I sold all those animals for treatment because I still needed life. That is how this disease has affected me. It has depleted every resource of mine … land is very important but I have sold mine just to buy life,” Mugyenyi told IPS.
Mugyenyi is both luck and unfortunate. He is one of the minority of Ugandans with chronic kidney disease who has been able to receive dialysis treatment, but he does not qualify for a kidney transplant operation because of his advanced age.