The Western Hospital is a hospital set up to cater to people needing kidney transplants and dialysis. Founded in 1985, the Western Hospital is the first hospital in Sri Lanka to provide kidney transplantations. “To this day, we have done 4.000 transplantations in Sri Lanka, and gave 4000 people their normal life back”, says Prof. Rezvi Sheriff, the founder and Chairman of the Western Hospital and a world-famous nephrologist commonly known as the ‘the father of nephrology’ in Sri Lanka.
“For some reason, in Sri Lanka a lot of people suffer from kidney failure. Furthermore, there is diabetes pandemic in this country and an epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) for unexplained reasons. Many researchers have tried to analyse the origins of the pandemic, be it from the water, be it from the fertilizers in the agriculture sector, or land with high concentration to metals, but even today we don’t have solid evidence where it is coming from, may well be Multi-factorial and that means that it may be in the DNA of the people of Sri Lanka. In any case, it is in the interest of the people of the world that there are specialized hospitals that can help people who have a problem of kidney failure. It is perfectly possible to live a healthy Life with dialyses, provided you live your life according to a strict plan. This is of course very time consuming and it limits flexibility of travelling, and in case of not respecting the dialysis plan the consequences could be fatal”, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff explains.
With a very high success rate in kidney transplantation, the Western Hospital is renowned not just in Sri Lanka but in the larger region, Attracting patients from around the world. The hospital works in compliance with all the rules and regulations that exist in Sri Lanka with regards to kidney transplantations. In 2015, they did 129 transplantations, but in 2016 the government banned kidney transplantations for foreigners in Sri Lanka, which meant that the hospital had to turn down a great number of foreigners that now are still on dialyses and are waiting for the government move with regards of the kidney transplant ban. “We as a hospital can only adapt to what the government decides, even though we witnessed a tremendous drop of the number of transplantations. Because of this, we had to diversify our hospital, invest in new technology and start offering other cutting-edge services for both the local and foreign markets, but we regret that we cannot help those in need of a better life. We hope that our government realizes that, when all legislation and paper work are being respected, there are very few arguments against giving somebody the opportunity of a full quality life back”, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff emphasizes.
Discussing his experience, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff says, “I have lived in different places in the world, worked with universities and hospitals in USA, Japan, Australia, UK and brought all the knowledge to Sri Lanka, because I feel very committed as a Sri Lankan citizen to help develop the health sector in the country”.
Western Hospital also offers health care check-ups to help prevent diseases. “There are number of diseases that can be easily detected in early life. Everything related to heart diseases, heart blood pressure or diabetes can be detected before is manifested. We highly recommend everybody to do this every five years so you have a perfect indication of your own health ratio (profile)” Prof. Rezvi Sheriff says. “1.5 billion people in this world have hypertension and this has an impact on all organs. The sooner this is detected, the better for the patient”, he adds.
They conduct checks on blood sugar levels, cardiograms, liver check, kidney check, ultrasound x-rays etc., offering people the chance to do the tests in one day or stay overnight and have the tests in two days. “Every person over 40 should do health checks every five years”, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff advises.
Offering health checks for very competitive rates, the Western Hospital puts great emphasis on the quality on its staff, and from a ground-breaking institution which pioneered in kidney transplants, today they have grown into an educational centre for the industry. The hospital has been recognized by the President’s fund and is currently still the market leader in its field. “We put great value in training our nurses, and we are happy to say we can live to the highest expectation for patients from all over the world. We also welcome foreign tourists to do a holding dialysis and health check in our hospital while they are vacationing in this beautiful country. A vacation is about recuperating, so you might as well combine it with focusing on your health, and leave with a plan on how to improve it. We welcome all westerners to visit the Western Hospital”, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff concludes.