AS part of the World Kidney Day celebrations, for the first time in rural parts of the country the slogan for this year is: ‘Kidneys are life; stop acute kidney injury’ A chronic kidney disease is sometimes a silent killer. Thousands of patients die of renal failure.
The International Society of Nephrology and the International Kidney Foundation in 2006 had celebrated the World Kidney Day for the first time.
On this day healthy people who have no symptoms are screened for kidney diseases. Simple tests like urine detailed report and serum creatinine are performed which can tell us whether a man or woman is suffering from kidney disease. This should be repeated every year.
People should undergo examinations, like recording of blood pressure, performing ultrasound of both kidneys and blood sugar tests. These are complementary to the above tests because high blood pressure and blood sugar levels sometimes go unnoticed.
This is again important if some one is already suffering from diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure or someone has family history of diabetes and hypertension. Such people must undergo screening tests for a kidney disease.
The developed world organises screening programmes and awareness symposiums to educate their people and save them from chronic kidney disease.
The cost of treating a patient suffering from chronic kidney disease is immense: in the next 10 years the world will spend three trillion dollars on dialysis and transplantation.
Pakistan is lagging behind in providing free health facilities to the people. We have a fragile, inefficient health system. People have to travel hundreds of miles to get treatment. We have no dialysis facilities available in a majority of hospitals, especially in the rural parts. If they are available, then they are not provided day and night.
Last but not least, patients have to pay money to get it, which is costly.
Every district hospital should organise screening programmes for kidney diseases.
SIUT is an institution providing free medical treatment to all its patients at their doorstep. SIUT Chhablani Medical Centre in Sukkur and SIUT Primary Healthcare Centre at Kathore are a few examples where health facilities are provided near the homes of the local people.
For the first time in the history of Pakistan the screening for early diagnosis of kidney diseases will be carried out by SIUT on March 14 at the Kathore centre and on March 15 at the Sukkur centre.
MURLI DHAR Karachi