Tongan dialysis foundation wants to bring new portable kidney treatment to kingdom

PHOTO: The Wearable Artificial Kidney, also known as the WAK, is a miniaturized dialysis device that can be worn like a tool belt. 

A portable kidney machine may offer affordable dialysis treatment in Tonga.

The prototype device, known as the Wearable Artificial Kidney, was cleared for human testing in the United States last year.

The recently established Tonga Dialysis Foundation wants to bring the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) treatment to the kingdom.

The foundation’s president,  Saia Moehau, said the WAK fitted Tonga’s economic situation, was easy to use and cheaper than conventional dialysis machines.

Moehau said dialysis was not carried out in Tonga because it was very expensive.

He said the foundation was co-ordinating its work with a number of Tongan committees in the United States.

Moehau was in the United States last week to attend a national symposium of nephrologists (kidney specialists) in Orlando, Florida.

The WAK was presented at the gathering and was described as being more convenient and effective than conventional machines.

Moehau said nephrologists from Cedar Sinai Hospital and UCLA and the Davita Dialysis Centre in Century City in Los Angeles had offered to act as advisors to the Tongan Dialysis Foundation.

The initiative for the Dialysis Foundation came from Crown Prince Tupouto’a, who is its patron and chairman.

Moehau said the Prince wanted to involve Tongan international communities.

He set up Tongan dialysis committees in Salt Lake City led by Reverend Sione Tukutau,  in Los Angeles led by President Tuita Tu’i’asoa and ‘Oloka Fifita, in Long Beach led by Latu Takapu and Bruce Reichenbacher and in San Francisco led by Kalatini ‘Ahio.

Moehau said the foundation wanted to engage as much community help as possible to ensure the organisation was successful and sustainable.

He said more Tongan community committees would be soon established in New Zealand and Australia.

Moehau said the organisation has been registered in the United States and Tonga as a non-profitable organisation.

The members of the foundation are:

Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa (Patron and Chair)

Hon Saia Piukala (Minister of Health)

Hon ‘Etuate Lavulavu (Minister of Infrastructure)

Hon Poasi Tei (Minister of Public Enterprises)

Siosaia Moehau (President)

Ratu Rokorui (Deputy President)

‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Secretary General)

Tanusia Paea (Assistant Secretary)

Soane Ramanlal (Treasurer)

Sangster Saulala (Public Relations and former Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Forestry)

Members of the foundation’s steering committee elected by the Crown Prince are: Dr. Sione Latu, Dr. Lisiate ‘Ulufonua from the Ministry of Health, ‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi and Sangstar Saulala.

A new website for the foundation is being created by a website developer company in the States and is expected to be launched two weeks from now.

“I Thank the Prime Minister of Tonga and the government, especially the Minister of Health and his staff, for making people’s lives a priority and being willing to work together with the Crown Prince to achieve the purpose of the initiative,” Moehau said.

“We cannot just rely on our government to do everything for us. We have to stand up and do it before we ask government for help.”

What is the Wearable Artificial Kidney?

The Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) is a device that reproduce the components of a stationary dialysis system, but with a few modifications.

It is battery powered and does not use a large external source of pure water. Instead, it continuously filters and recycles only 400cc of water.

The entire package weighs about 4.5 kilograms, but its developers believe it can be made even lighter.

It is claimed to allow greater mobility for dialysis patients, reducing the time needed for treatment and improving their quality of life.

The device was invented by nephrologist Dr Victor Gura from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles.

The device is at the prototype stage and has undergone limited human clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Italy.

It was approved for human testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration late last year.

The main points

  • A portable kidney machine may offer affordable dialysis treatment in Tonga.
  • The recently established Tonga Dialysis Foundation wants to bring the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) treatment to the kingdom.
  • The foundation’s president, Saia Moehau, said dialysis was not carried out in Tonga because it was very expensive.
  • He said the foundation was co-ordinating its work with a number of Tongan committees in the United States.

For more information

Wearable Artificial Kidney gets green light for US trials

New Wearable Artificial Kidney Improves Mobility

1 COMMENT

  1. ‘Oku matamata ‘e lava ‘e he ngāue ‘a e mīsini faitoʻo kuo faʻu ke tui mo toʻo holo pe ʻe ha taha ʻoku mahakiʻia hono kofuuá ʻo feau ʻa e feinga ko ia ke lava ʻa e mahakí ni ʻo faitoʻo pe ʻi Tonga.

    Ko e meʻangāue kuo toki faʻu ko ʻení, ʻoku ʻiloa ko e Kofuua Faʻu ke Lava Pe ʻO Tui, peá ne fakaʻatā ke tesiʻi ʻi ʻAmelika ʻi he taʻu kuo ʻosí.

    ʻOku fiemaʻu ʻe he Kautaha ʻa Tonga ne toki fokotuʻú ni ki he Faitoʻo ʻo e Kofuuá ke ʻomi ʻa e meʻangāue faitoʻo ko ʻení pe ʻoku ʻiloa fakanounou ʻi he lea ʻIngilisí ko e WAK ki he puleʻanga fakatuʻí.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe he palesiteni ʻo e kautahá, Saia Moehau, ko e meʻangāué ni ʻoku feʻunga ia mo e tuʻunga fakaʻekonōmika ʻo Tongá, faingofua ke fakaʻaongaʻi mo maʻamaʻa ange ia ʻi he misini faitoʻo kofuua ʻoku lolotonga ngāueʻakí.

    Pehē foki ʻe Moehaú ʻoku ʻikai fai hano faitoʻo ʻo e fokoutua kofuuá ʻi Tonga koeʻuhi he ʻoku fuʻu mamafa.

    Ne ne pehē foki kuo hanga ʻe he kautahá ʻo fokotuʻu mo ha ngaahi kōmiti Tonga ʻi ʻAmelika.

    Naʻe ʻi ʻAmelika ʻa Moehau ʻi he uike kuo ʻosí ke kau atu ki ha simipōsiume ʻa e kau mataotao he kofuuá ʻi he feituʻu ko ia ko ʻŌlenitō ʻi Folōlita.

    Naʻe fakaʻaliʻali ai ʻa e meʻangāue ko ʻeni WAK pea naʻe fakamatalaʻi ʻo pehē ʻoku faingofua ange ia mo ola lelei ange ʻene ngāué ʻi he mīsini ʻoku lolotonga ngāueʻakí.

    Naʻe toe pehē ʻe Moehau kuo ʻofa ha kau mataotao faitoʻo kofuua ʻi he Falemahaki Cedar Sinai mo e UCLA, Davita Dialysis Centre ʻi he feituʻu ko ia ko Century ʻi LA ke nau tokoni fakafaleʻi ki he Kautaha Faitoʻo Kofuua ʻa Tongá.

    Ko e Kautaha Kofuua ʻa Tongá ko e maaʻimoa ia ʻa e Tama Pilinisi Kalauní Tupoutoʻa, ʻa ia ko ia pe ʻoku pataloni mo seá.

    Ne pehē ʻe Moehaú ko e fakaʻamu ia ʻa e tama pilinisí ke fakakau mai ʻa e ngaahi komiunitī Tonga fakavahaʻapuleʻangá ki he maaʻimoá ni.

    Ne ne fokotuʻu ai ha ngaahi kōmiti ki he faitoʻo ʻo e kofuuá ʻi Salt Lake City ʻo taki ia ʻe Faifekau Sione Tukutau, ʻI Los Angeles ʻoku tataki ia ʻe Palesiteni Tuita Tuʻiʻasoa mo ʻOlokā Fifita, ʻi Long Beach ʻoku tataki ia ʻe Lātū Tākapu mo Bruce Reicehnbacher pea ʻi San Francisco ko Kalatini ʻAhio.

    Pehē ʻe Moehaū ʻoku fiemaʻu ʻe he kautahá ke maʻu e tokoni lahi taha ʻe ala lava mei he komiunitií ke fapapauʻi ʻe ola lelei e kautahá mo tolonga.

    Ne ne pehē ʻe lahi mo e ngaahi kōmiti fakakomiunitī Tonga ʻe vavé ni pe hano fokotuʻu ʻi Nuʻu Sila mo ʻAositelēlia.

    Naʻá ne toe pehē foki kuo ʻosi lēsitita ʻa e kautahá ʻi Tonga mo ʻAmelika ko ha kautaha ʻoku ʻikai taumuʻa ke fakatupu paʻanga.

    Ko e kau mēmipa ʻeni ʻo e kautahá:
    Pataloni mo Sea ko e Pilinisi Kalauní Tupoutoʻa
    Hon Saia Piukala (Minister of Health)
    Hon ‘Etuate Lavulavu (Minister of Infrastructure)
    Hon Poasi Tei (Minister of Public Enterprises)
    Siosaia Moehau (President)
    Ratu Rokorui (Deputy President)
    ‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Secretary General)
    Soane Ramanlal (Treasurer)
    Sangster Saulala (Public Relations and former Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Forestry)
    Tanusia Paea (Assistant Secretary)

    ʻOku ʻi ai mo e kōmiti ngāue ne fili ʻe he Pilinisí ʻa ia ʻoku kau ki ai ʻa : Dr. Sione Latu, Dr. Lisiate ‘Ulufonua mei he Potungāue Moʻuí, ‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi mo Sangstar Saulala.

    Kuo ʻi ai foki mo ha uepisaiti ʻa e kautahá ʻoku lototonga faʻu ʻe ha kautaha ʻi ʻAmelika pea ne ʻamanakí ke fakaola ʻi ha uike ʻe ua mei he taimí ni.

    Naʻe fakamālōʻia ʻe Moehau ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmia ʻo Tongá mo e puleʻangá tautefito ki he Minisitā Moʻuí mo ʻene kau ngāué ʻi hono fakamuʻomuʻa e moʻui ʻa e kakaí mo loto ke ngāue fakataha mo e Pilinisi Kalauní ka e lava ke aʻusia e taumuʻa ʻo e fakakaukaú ni.

    Naʻá ne pehē ʻe ʻikai lava ke tau fakafalala ʻataʻatā pe ʻi he puleʻangá ke ne fai e meʻa kotoa maʻa kitautolu. Kuopau ke tau tuʻu ʻo fai e ngāué pea tau toki kole tokoni atu leva ki he puleʻangá.

    Ko e hā ʻa e meʻangāue ko ʻeni Kofua Kuo Faʻu ke Lava ʻo Tui?

    Ko e Kofuua Kuo Faʻu ke Lava ʻo Tuí ko ha meʻangāue ʻokú ne toe fakasino mai ʻa e ngaahi kongakonga ʻo e mīsini faitoʻo kofuua ʻoku lolotonga ngāueʻakí ka ʻoku ʻikai lava ke hiki holo ʻi ai ha ngaahi liliu ʻe niʻihi ai.

    ʻOku fakamaka ʻa e meʻangāue ko ʻení pea ʻoku ʻikai ke ne ngāueʻaki lahi ʻe ia ha vai maʻa ke toutou ʻutu ki ai. ʻOkú ne ngāueʻaki pe ʻe ia ʻa e vai mililita ʻe 400 ʻoku ʻutu ki aí ʻo toutou fakafoʻou pe ʻe ia ʻiate ia.

    Ko e mamafa ʻo e meʻangāué ni ʻoku ʻi he kilo ʻe 4.5 ka ʻoku pehē ʻe kinautolu ʻoku nau faʻú ʻe lava pe ke toe maʻamaʻa ange ai.

    Kuo pehē foki ʻokú faingamālie lahi ange ʻa e mīsiní ni ke hiki holo mo e kau mahakí, fakasiʻisiʻi e taimi ʻoku fiemaʻu ki he faitoʻó mo fakalakalaka ange e tuʻunga lelei ʻo e moʻuí ʻi hono ngāueʻakí.

    Naʻe fua ʻilo ʻa e meʻangāué ni ʻe he mataotao he kofuuá ko Victor Gura mei he Akoʻanga Faitoʻo David Geffen ʻi he ʻUnivēsiti ʻo Kalifōniá ʻi Los Angeles.

    ʻOku kei ʻi he tuʻunga faʻu foʻoú ʻa e meʻangāué ni pea kuo ʻosi fai hono toutou tesiʻi ʻi ha kakai neongo ne fakangatangata pē ʻi ʻAmelika, Pilitānia mo ʻĪtali.

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