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Jody’s Story – My experience with overcoming Stage 5 Kidney Failure



#Mwebantu, Meet Jody Kruger as he shares his story after successfully overcoming stage 5 Kidney Failure after a successful kidney transplant in India. Here is his story….

Two years ago, I remember sitting on my porch after a long hard day, and I kept scratching every where, my body was so itchy, I bathed so many times, changed clothes but the itch would not go away and I couldn’t sleep I had insomnia.

I went to see the Doctor because I was concerned with the symptoms I had, which were insomnia, constant itch and swollen ankles
The Doctors did many tests on me when they saw my BP was abnormally high, high blood pressure is one of the main causes of organ failure, so they did a full blood count and a kidney function test.  I got my results two days later only to be told I had stage 5 kidney failure.

I had to start Dialysis, which was so difficult for me to accept. As this required me to sit on the machine for 4 hours three times a week
The cost of the Dialysis treatment in private clinic was K2500 per session, I had to be on the machine 3 times a week, 12 treatments in a month.

Part of the cause of my Kidney failure was not drinking enough water, I drank a lot of fizzy drinks like coke and red bull, I had a very poor diet, I ate a lot of red meat, self diagnosing, I took alot of pain killers such as dyclophenic to help me with my gout etc.

The advice I can give you, is you can have minor symptoms but have a life threatening disease it’s so important to check your health, if I caught this earlier I would have treated it with medication and changing my diet.

It does not cost much to check yourself and you can avoid serious problems just by simply doing a check up I will encourage you to pay for medical aid, it is worth every penny, I wish I had done it before.  So there I was in a difficult situation, I needed money for the treatments,I had no medical aid, no savings, and I needed a donor plus $30,000 for a transplant.

I had no idea where all this would come from As I began my treatments on Dialysis, I was so emotionally drained with everything happening, it was long painful and very difficult for me to go through.

The Doctor told me to find a donor, as this was the best option for me was to have a transplant I had no idea, who would do this for me. I had lost all hope and one day I got a call , I was told my sister was willing to donate her kidney, I couldn’t believe what I heard, I was so happy, I jumped with joy, she was going to save me from all this pain and agony I was going through , I was so happy to hear the news, so we began the tests to see if she was a match.

The next problem we had was the funds, she was a match but we didn’t have money for the transplant, and we started fundraising, asking people to help us, we were not getting much luck and I was so worried about the cost of treatment, I was the only one working at this time, imagine the pressure I had of finding these kind of funds, I had completely lost all hope, I thought it would never happen.

Until one day I got a call from a person who said they will cover all the costs, I was told to write a budget and send to them.

What I can tell you, is what you give out will always come back to you and it comes back at the time you need it the most If you help others you will be helped so always be good to people.

Always remember people are going through battles you know nothing about so always be kind to people.

Next minute we were on Emirates airline flying to Dehli for a transplant, booked at one of the best hospitals in India , I am blessed to have really good people in my Life, who supported me through this struggle and I am ever so thankful for all the good they have done for me.

I was in India for about three months, as we had to carry out many tests to ensure my sister could go ahead with donating her kidney
We spent a lot of time in the Hospital, waiting in long queues to see the Doctor, having so many needles going through your body watching others fight for their lives, it was a very sad environment to be in.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my sister Nicole Kruger for saving my Life, what she did was selfless and I think about her all the time, she has a big heart not many people are willing to donate an organ, it is not an easy thing to do. Her love for me is truly unconditional and I am ever so grateful

I had to wait in long queues to go on a Dialysis machine, I was given times like midnight, 1 am or 3 am to go on the machine, because there was so many people who needed this treatment.

In India kidney failure I found was very common, many people struggled with this. With all the people I had met, I was one of the luckiest ones to have my kidney transplant so fast, as most people had waited for 1 year plus before doing a transplant.

On the day of the transplant I was so nervous, afraid, when I came out of the operating room, I was screaming and making so much noise cause I was in a lot of pain, the nurse told me to look at the little boy, who had just come out of the same operation I went through and he wasn’t making any noise, she said look a 7 year old boy is stronger than you, he went through what you did.
Immediately my strength came from this little boy and I was calm.  I traveled back home not long after and resumed my life. Before the transplant I didn’t do my research properly, I didn’t know I will have to buy medication for the rest of my Life.

The Anti rejection medication I take lowers my immune system and prevents my kidney from rejecting.  I still have this burden of buying medication and doing tests. I have struggled a lot after my transplant, been worried everyday what if I lose my kidney, what if I die.

In my next story coming up, i will speak about what i went through after my transplant.  When you are struggling, it is difficult for you to Express gratitude and I have been misunderstood by many people.

I got a call from Johnny Samaras who is the founder of Absolute Gentleman which is an organization that fundraises for thhe Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola, he asked me to go and assist with a charity event that he was hosting, and I was very pleased to go because I love to help people.

That day changed my Life, when I walked into the renal ward and I saw a little boy on the Dialysis machine, I knew immediately the pain he was going through, I looked at his mum and I saw her pain.

I want to help children with the same problem because I have gone through it and no child deserves to go through something like that,
I have disappointed those who have helped me.  
I owe it to them, to give back what was given to me. It is for this reason I wish to open a foundation helping children with renal failure.



Chainama Hills Hospital highlights neglect and attention deficiency as key factors in declining school attendance among boys



CHAINAMA Hills Hospital has identified neglect and attention deficiency as significant contributors to the decreasing enrolment of boys in schools.

According to the hospital, mental health issues, particularly attention deficiency, play a crucial role in the decreasing attendance of boy children in classrooms.

This follows a statement issued by the Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima, who stated that, statistically, more girls than boys participated in grade 12 examinations last year.

The figures indicated that 49.40 percent of the candidates were boys, while 50.60 percent were girls.

The hospital which actively advocates for mental health, has suggested that implementing mental health programs in schools could be a crucial intervention to encourage more boys to stay in school.

Hospital spokesperson George Tafuna, attributed the reluctance of boys to attend school to attention-seeking behavior.

Dr Tafuna said the current focus on educating girl children has left some boys feeling neglected, leading to a decline in their attendance.

He called for increased parental care and attention for boys, emphasizing that some turn to negative behaviors to cope with attention deficiency.

Dr Tafuna pointed out the need for a balanced approach, with equal advocacy for both genders, and urged the introduction of mental health programs in schools.

He also noted that a significant number of boys aged between 13 and 15 years are being admitted to Chainama Hills Hospital for drug and substance abuse issues.

Dr Tafuna stressed the importance of interventions to address the underlying mental health challenges faced by these boys.

“The problem today is that we do not have many organisations advocating for the boy child as much as they are doing for the girl child. We need a system in which both genders are looked after. We need more programs also in mental health being introduced in schools. It is why we have been advocating for children and adolescent mental clinics in the country,” he said.

Dr Tafuna told Mwebantu in an interview that the Ministry of Education should look into interventions with stakeholders to address the matter.

“Sometimes you find a system where the boy child is left at home by both parents who work and expect him to go to school. But because of lack of attention, they abscond and divert to do other illicit things such as drug abuse. Some are even exposed to films which teach them how to commit offences, avoid school and also commit suicide. This is why we have less boy children taking interest in school,” he suggested.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 27th January, 2024)

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18 more cholera deaths, 457 new cases recorded



EIGHTEEN more cholera related death have been recorded in the last 24 hours.

Out of the 18 deaths recorded, 16 are believed to have died within their respective communities while two died at the treatment centres.

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo and her counterparts Local Government Minister Gary Nkombo and Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mike Mposha have assured the nation that Government is putting in intervention measures to combat Cholera across the country.

Ms Masebo also that for families who cannot be allowed to visit their loved ones in this critical moment, mechanisms to have them call the health facilities are being put in place.

Ms Masebo was speaking during a briefing in Lusaka today.

She said Government together with health personnel as well as well wishers and stakeholders  are working hard to ensure lives are saved.

“We have recorded in the last 24 hours a total of 457 new cases. The next new cases are being distributed as follows, Lusaka which is the epicenter has 406 cases, 28 cases in Central province, seven cases in Eastern, Five in Southern and four cases, one each on the Copperbelt, Muchinga, Western and Northern.

On the Copperbelt, Western and Muchinga we have what we call imported cases, while Luapula remains at high alert with no cases.”

“Currently in admission across the country, we have 1,117 in the last 24 hours, while we have discharged 588. The total number of cases recorded since the outbreak is 7,830. We have also recorded in the last 24 hours 18 deaths. Of these, 16 occurred in the community, while two at the cholera treatment centres,” she said.

She said there is a decrease of Cholera cases which can be attributed to a proactive health stuff and community awareness.

Ms Masebo emphasised the need to adhere to hygiene measures and to also quickly rush patients with symptoms to the nearest health facilities.

And Local Government Minister said Government is in overdrive in ensuring that they facilitate people with the needed amenities.

Mr Nkombo said his ministry has also intensified measures to stop indiscriminate disposal of any waste adding that street vending is one such issue which has contributed to the cholera outbreak.

He said if the indiscriminate disposal of waste does not stop, Government will be forced to fine perpetrators through use of the Statutory Instrument against indiscriminate disposal of waste.

Meanwhile, Mr Mposha said his ministry is in the process of installing water tanks and is mobilizing emptying of pit latrines.

He said his Ministry will adhere to President Hakainde Hichilema’s directive of burying shallow wells which have contributed to the outbreak of Cholera.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 11th January, 2024)

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27 people die of cholera



TWENTY SEVEN cholera related deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo has disclosed.

Ms Masebo said of the deaths recorded, 26 are in Lusaka, while one is from Kabwe district.

She also disclosed that the country has recorded 567 new cholera cases in the last 24 hours and that 504 of those cases are from Lusaka.

Speaking when she gave an update on the cholera situation in the country at heroes stadium in Lusaka which is being used as the treatment center,Ms Masebo said government is on top of things and has called for cooperation from members of the public.

“In the last 24 hours, we have recorded 567 new cases country wide. Although most are in Lusaka which has 504 cases out of the 567. The accumulative total number of cases since October is now 5,463. Sadly we have lost 27 patients in the last 24 hours. 26 are from Lusaka. This brings the accumulative total of deaths to 223,” she said.

Ms Masebo said despite the deaths, there is a positive recovery rate being that 350 people have been discharged in the past 24 hours.

She said presently 1,059 people have been admitted in the health facilities.

“We need to ensure that those having symptoms are quickly brought to the hospital because 80 to 90 percent of the deaths are as a result of late coming to the health facilities. Do not wait for symptoms to exceed,” she said.

She added that other line ministries such as the Ministry of Defence are also on ground to help bring the situation under control adding also the vaccines are expected on the country soon.

(Mwebantu, Sunday, 7th January, 2024)

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