- Name: Elias Nambaje
- Disease: Kidney Disease
- Contact: 0787076297
I am Elias Nambaje, a 52-year-old man who lives in Kigali, and I have been living with kidney disease for 15 years. I am a member of the Rwanda Kidney Organization.
One of my main challenges is that community-based health insurance doesn't cover the high treatment cost, and the situation became worse when Covid-19 affected my income. For instance, dialysis treatment requires almost Rwf1 million per month and for patients with transplanted kidneys, it requires about Rwf150,000 per month to buy drugs which is unaffordable. This cost is not covered by community-based health insurance which is used by many vulnerable Rwandans.
I faced other challenges such as the lack of medicine during the total lockdown when getting a car to go to the hospital was difficult. Sometimes, I traveled and traffic police stopped me even without checking my medical document. Also, there is an increase in the price of medicine where a tablet of Rwf1,000 raises to Rwf1,300. You understand that it affected our life. That combined with unemployment means that we can’t pay medical bills.
People living with NCDs also need healthy food, but their income was affected by the pandemic. I have a family to take care of, so I reduced the number of daily meals to adjust the family budget so that I can save money for getting treatment.
I am worried that my low immunity could increase the chance of being infected by COVID-19. However, following all preventive measures is the best option to stay free from coronavirus infection.
In society, some people think that the life of a person living with NCD has ended, and he/she is just waiting to die. This is wrong because he/she has the ability to do great things to improve the standard of living.
The community-based health insurance should cover the kidney disease treatment costs so that the money spent on treatment would help to improve the standard of living. Dialysis and drugs are very expensive, and the government should subsidize the cost