St. Kitts’ JNF Hospital now has a hemodialysis unit to treat patients suffering from renal failure. The unit, which houses 3 dialysis machines and accompanying water filtration system, was officially opened today, Friday (Sept 6), under the auspices of Minister of Health Hon. Marcella Liburd, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, NIA Health Minister Hon. Mark Brantley, Health PS Andrew Skerritt, Dr. Marc Pierrot, along with other dignitaries, government and hospital officials and staff. Nephrologist Dr. Miriam Rodriguez Delgado was also on hand with the batch of local nurses who have been trained in the delivery of renal treatment. The Unit is a public/private venture between the government of St. Kitts-Nevis and Dr. Pierrot. St. Kitts previously offered only peritoneal dialysis. Two machines will be in full use to dialyze patients while the third will be on standby in case there is any problem with the two main machines. The machines can each dialyze two 4-5 hour shifts per day, meaning six persons can receive dialysis each day, 6 days per week. Minister Liburd said the opening of the Unit meant that persons who had to leave their families and travel abroad to receive dialysis treatment could remain at home with their loved ones and be treated. According to PS Skerritt, the treatment will cost approximately US$300 per course and the Ministry of Social Development has been in discussions with related Ministries to determine how persons in need of dialysis but are without the means to pay for it can avail themselves of the treatment.