A 51-year-old man, Sachin TL, hailing from Chikmangalur district of Karnataka, is on dialysis for the last 25 years. Recently, the Bangalore Haemodialysis Association (BHA) recognised and honoured him for his voluntary service to the other patients, who are on dialysis.
In India, every year, there are around two lakh patients who are in need of a kidney, and are on the waiting list. Only 8 to 10 thousand kidney transplants can happen due to unavailability of the organ. Thousands of patients, routinely take dialysis for many years in their lifespan.
“I belong to a farmer’s family. When I was diagnosed with kidney failure, I was very young. I could not marry too, because of the disease. Every time, for dialysis, I had to come to Bangalore. Now, for some days, I live in Bangalore, and for some days, I go to my village,” said Sachin.
“However, I never gave up. I have been working with BHA for many years now. Many people, who are on dialysis for years, need the motivation to continue their treatment. My job is to motivate them,” he added.
“He was declared unfit for a kidney transplant in 1993 when his liver’s condition also started declining,” said Dr Abhay Sadre, a nephrologist from Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune. Adding further, he said, “There are many patients, who are undergoing dialysis for years now. Many of them are medically unfit for transplant, and some, who are fit, do not get kidneys.”
Sachin has many demands from the government. He says, “It is just Bangalore that has nephrologists. The other district hospitals in Karnataka, do not have nephrologists. While the dialysis machines are available in all government hospitals, there are no experts present, or there is no electricity. Travelling to Bangalore, for poor villagers, is expensive. The government should appoint experts in all districts, and till then should give some concession in bus or train tickets to the patient.”