Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere Department of Nephrology:
The department of nephrology was started in 1984 at Stanley Medical College & Hospital. This department deals with kidney diseases and is responsible for dialysis and renal transplantation. The services of this department caters mainly to the needs of lower socio-economic group of people at free of cost without compromising quality. Regular outpatient services are offered on Mondays/Fridays from 10 AM to 1 PM and on Wednesdays, renal transplant patient’s follow up is done exclusively. On Fridays, special services are offered for patients who have registered under cadaveric transplant programmme. Approximately 200 patients are offered outpatient services per day. In patient services are provided round-the-clock to approximately 40 patients affected by various kidney ailments. A dedicated renal lab is functioning within the department premises to offer special investigations free of cost to renal patients. Besides hemodialysis, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis services are also being provided to patients. Having started the renal transplant program in 1986, so far 828 transplants have been performed. Both live-related and deceased donor kidney transplantation is being done for end-stage renal disease patients. Extracorporeal removal of toxins/drug overdose are also being offered to patients in need. Besides patient services, various multicentric research projects are also undertaken in the department. Also, 3 nephrology speciality postgraduates and 20-24 dialysis technician students are trained annually.
Global Kidney Disease burden:
850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes. Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) cause at least 2.4 million deaths per year and are now the 6th fastest growing cause of death.
Acute kidney injury (AKI), an important driver of CKD, affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85% of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Around 1.7 people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.
Moreover, CKD and AKI are important contributors to increased morbidity and mortality from other diseases and risk factors including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, as well as infections such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
Challenges to kidney health: disparities & access Despite the growing burden of kidney diseases worldwide, kidney health disparity and inequity are still widespread. CKD and AKI often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others.
Transplantation is considered the most cost-effective treatment of CKD. However, it has high set up costs with regards to infrastructure and requires highly specialized teams, availability of organ donors and cannot be done without dialysis backup. Physical and legal infrastructure requirements and cultural bias against organ donation often present barriers in many countries, making dialysis the default option.
However, while national policies and strategies for non- communicable diseases (NCDs) in general are present in many countries, specific policies directed toward screening, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases are often lacking.
What we call for
This year, World Kidney Day sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and the need for strategies for kidney diseases prevention and management.
Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere calls for universal health coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment of kidney disease.
The ultimate goal of a UHC policy is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality, protecting people from health impoverishment and improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.
Specifically, WKD calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to improve kidney care.
Encourage and adopt healthy lifestyles (access to clean water, exercise, healthy diet, tobacco control. Many types of kidney diseases can be prevented, delayed and / or kept under control when appropriate prevention measures are in place.
Make screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention including access to identification tools (e.g. urine and blood tests). Screening of high risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment is cost effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases.
Ensure kidney patients receive basic health services they need (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol control, essential medications) to delay disease progression without suffering financial hardship.
Breaking down socioeconomic barriers and expanding access to comprehensive services in order to meet the needs of the population is essential to guarantee equitable kidney care and increase quality.
Important strategies to prevent kidney diseases:
Regular control of blood sugar
Regular blood pressure control
Healthy food habits
Avoiding over-the-counter medicine intake without physician prescription