Zambo City to do first kidney transplant in Region 9

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/30 Sept) – The first ever kidney transplant in the region is scheduled to be held Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Western Mindanao Medical Center (WMMC), a private tertiary hospital operating in this city.

Dr. Michael Abutazil, head of the WMMC Renal Transplant Unit (RTU), said they are ready to perform the procedure on a 45-year-old male kidney patient from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. The kidney donor is the patient’s 41-year-old cousin.

Abutazil said both the kidney recipient and donor, who both requested not to be identified, will undergo the process simultaneously under a team of seven doctors composed of a transplant surgeon, an anesthesiologist, urologists and nephrologists.

He said WMMC has recently purchased an anesthetic machine in preparation for the kidney transplant procedure.

He said the operating room of WMMC will not be used starting 12 hours before the procedure to assure sterility of the facility.

“That is why WMMC has purchased an anesthetic machine and other special instruments for the purpose,” he explained.

The transplant operation will start at 1 p.m. and would take three to four hours to complete.

WMMC hospital secretary Maricel Pontillas said WMMC acquired its accreditation to perform kidney transplant on the last week of August this year following a series of inspection conducted by representatives from the Department of Health (DOH) and National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI).

Pontillas said the validity of the accreditation to perform kidney transplant is from August 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013.

The idea of organ transplant was first brought to WMMC management by Abutazil with the participation of two surgeons from Cagayan de Oro City, namely, Dr. Jayson Sangkula and Dr. John Ahalajal.

Abutazil said the opening of the RTU at WMMC will pave the way for future organ transplant at a much lesser cost in this city.

Abutazil said that kidney transplantation will cost a patient P1.5 million at the NKTI and P800,000 in Davao City.

Pontillas said she is not privy as to the cost of the transplant operations at WMMC except in saying that portion of the expenses will be shouldered by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) with a counterpart fund from the patient.

She said Health Secretary Enrique Ona is arriving here Saturday to witness the first-ever kidney transplant in the region.

Patients with chronic renal failure spend a total of P8,400 for dialysis three times a week at P2,800 per session.

In Zamboanga City alone, Abutazil revealed that there are 1,000 patients diagnosed of renal failure who need kidney transplant.

Zamboanga has five nephrologists who specialize in treating kidney diseases. (MindaNews)