A mobile dialysis unit to ensure easy access to dialysis services for renal patients in the rural areas who are on maintenance dialysis will become operational in the district soon.

The first of its kind in the government health-care sector in the State, the mobile dialysis unit is an ambitious project of the district panchayat, in partnership with the Sri Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust, an NGO.

An ambulance with all emergency-care facilities has been fitted with two dialysis machines so that two persons can undergo dialysis at the same time.

“The air-conditioned vehicle has been fitted with a defibrillator, pulse oxymeter, ventilator, ECG machine, oxygen supply and all emergency life-support equipment. It has a 600 litre capacity water tank and a reverse osmosis plant for purifying the water. For poor patients suffering from end-stage renal diseases, this facility will be a blessing as they do not have to depend on a private hospital or travel to the Government Medical College Hospital for getting the maintenance dialysis done,” a senior Health Department official said.

This would also ease the long waiting list of patients at the medical college hospital for maintenance dialysis. “The service is totally free and the vehicle will operate on all days of the week. We are trying to secure a four digit toll-free number for the service so that people can call directly and register their names. The vehicle will provide home dialysis service to patients who are too ill or do not have anybody to accompany them. We intend to base the service from a community health centre so that any medical emergencies can be met,” Remani P. Nair, district panchayat president, said.

The district panchayat has invested Rs.53 lakh in the project — to purchase the vehicle and the dialysis machines.