The Dialysis Unit at the Dominica China-Friendship Hospital has been gifted with two new Fresenius 2008T BlueStar dialysis machines and six “WINCO Care Cliner (6530)” dialysis chairs equipped with Trendelenburg position and folding tray. These donations were made possible by The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, a charity based in Barbados, in a joint partnership with the Dominica SiFoCol Alumni Association (DSAA).
A little over 3 years ago, inspired by a friend and colleague who suffered from renal failure and was on dialysis, members of the graduating class of 1983 at the then Sixth Form College (now DSC) formed an organisation, now Dominica SiFoCol Alumni Association and vowed to make impactful contributions to their home island of Dominica. The organisation, in doing its own research into chronic kidney disease in Dominica, the Caribbean and the United States concluded that all data pointed to the rise of non- communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension and of chronic kidney disease. The organisation made a unanimous pledge to be part of the solution in helping to address the growing issue. DSAA then launched a fundraising campaign to promote support for dialysis care in Dominica, particularly for rural communities and garnered major support from The Maria Holder Memorial Trust in the main along with other donors who were affiliated with the Association’s membership.
Dr. Jennifer Liburd is DSAA’s 1st Vice President and Chair of the Dialysis Committee that has spearheaded the Association’s objective to support and sustain dialysis care and to raise awareness to improve treatment compliance, quality of life, and overall life expectancy for individuals with kidney disease on the island. The two dialysis machines were installed and made available for immediate use, while the six dialysis chairs arrived in Dominica and are awaiting delivery. In the recent handover of the equipment, a statement was read from Dr. Liburd who said that “this donation represents our organisation’s shot in the arm (no pun intended) to dialysis care in our beloved island.” Ms. Ruchelle Roach, Chief Executive Officer of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the donation a reality and stated, “there has been increases in non-communicable diseases regionally and The Maria Holder Memorial the Trust is pleased to be able to partner in the support of dialysis care at the Dominica China-Friendship Hospital in an effort to improve the care and health of Dominicans.”
The Dominica SiFoCol Alumni Association intends to continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness & Social Services, the Dominica Hospital Authority and other stakeholders to focus on how best to extend support for and contribute to care for patients in the rural communities as well. As Dominicans living both at home and abroad, the members of the Dominica SiFoCol Alumni Association are grateful to The Maria Holder Memorial Trust and all other donors, most of whom are DSAA members and their immediate business/social networks for their generosity and continued investment in the lives and well being of all Dominicans.