Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In search of P1 million to undergo kidney transplant

Solomon Molefhe’s life is dependent on dialysis ÔÇô a medical blood-cleaning process that replaces normal kidney function. ┬á

His life changed in 2010 when he was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. And now his life is dependent on a dialysis machine until he can raise about P1 million for him to undergo a kidney transplant operation in neighbouring South Africa.

But Molefhe does not look sickly.

He is not incapacitated or bedridden. The Botec Electronics technician (37), a father of two daughters, makes tremendous effort to fully support his children like any other devoted and loving father. But being on Peritoneal Dialysis indefinitely threatens that fatherly role permanently.

“My family, close friends and work colleagues are very supportive. But still some people get shocked when they learn about my condition. They don’t know how to react. People show some sense of willingness to help me but they don’t know how. The greatest challenge I face is that foreign bodies are expensive. Haemodialysis session of about four hours costs P1500. You have to do it three times in a week,” Molefhe says.

He says the Peritoneal Dialysis tends to be more gentle, comfortable and user friendly though one has to be more hygiene conscious because the body is pricked and may attract bacterial infections.

He takes comfort from the fact that his work colleagues have formed a wellness committee with a view to solicit funds on his behalf – a role that is currently being played by his relatives and close friends. “The Ministry of Health says there are no funds. If funds were available, I am told, I would be offered no more than P50┬á000,” Molefhe says. ┬áMolefhe appeals to big-hearted members of the business community, corporate sector, heads of diplomatic missions, civil society and the nation at large to help him raise funds to undergo a kidney transplant operation as soon as possible. “I am socially isolated not by choice. I can’t hang around with friends nor attend parties and funerals like before. Those who don’t know about my medical condition think I have suddenly become unsociable. My diet has drastically changed. I am on renal diet. I don’t eat almost all vegetables. I don’t eat bananas,” he says.

Diet is said to be an important consideration for those with impaired kidney function. Consultation with a dietician may be helpful to understand what foods may or may not be appropriate. Since the kidneys cannot easily remove excess water, salt, or potassium, these may need to be consumed in limited quantities. Foods high in potassium include bananas, apricots, and salt substitutes.

Phosphorus is associated with calcium metabolism and may be elevated in the body in kidney failure. Too much phosphorus can leech calcium from the bones and cause osteoporosis. Once the kidneys fail completely, the treatment options are limited to dialysis or kidney replacement by transplantation. Dialysis cleanses the body of waste products in the body by use of filter systems. There are two types of dialysis; haemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis.

Last year in July, Molefhe was diagnosed with chronic renal failure which is a result of kidney failure. This was after he underwent numerous tests which all came out negative. Kidney failure is a fatal condition whose only long term medical solution is kidney transplant. Currently, Molefhe is under a temporary measure on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) which he started in July 2010 and he is now on Haemodialysis.

His closest friend, Joseph Moji, has since sprung into action to assist by teaming up with other friends to set up a committee to raise funds for him with messages posted on Facebook to alert other friends. 

“Most people are aware of his condition but they are not forthcoming with any help. We intend to collaborate with Women of Jazz for a Gala dinner by the end of November to raise funds for Solly. A DJs party at the end of October is also planned. We have approached some performing artists like Ntirelang Berman. Solly has dreams. It is our mission that he realizes his dreams. He is not bedridden. He drives to work,” says Moji.

Kidney failure can be caused by uncontrolled blood pressure, sugar diabetes and drug abuse.

Those who wish to help him may contact the following: Matthews Phiri 73800702, Fidel Tsiako 72102395, Masego Ramaretlwa 71722753, Joseph Moji 72991786
Kerryn Moremedi 71301316 and Lesedi Tsalaile 72111092.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper