Wednesday 29, June 2022

Today is World Kidney Day Preventing 'silent diseases'

Lack of awareness about diabetes, high blood pressure and uncontrolled lifestyle are contributing to the growing number of kidney patients in Bangladesh, physicians said.

Lack of awareness about diabetes, high blood pressure and uncontrolled lifestyle are contributing to the growing number of kidney patients in Bangladesh, physicians said.

The country will observe World Kidney Day today along with other places in the world against the backdrop with a theme of ‘Kidney Health for All: Bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney health.’

Referring to different studies, physicians said kidney-related diseases were also increasing alarmingly in the country due to inadequate treatment facilities.

‘We found in a study in 2019 that more than two crore people were suffering from kidney diseases in Bangladesh. Every year, two lakh people develop kidney diseases. The diseases damage the kidneys of around 40,000 patients every year,’ said National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology director professor Md Mizanur Rahman.

He said that despite an increase in kidney patients in Bangladesh, the treatment facilities were not increased proportionately.

‘We are facing huge pressure of kidney patients. Even today we have more than 500 people are in queues for kidney dialysis,’ he said, adding that dialysis facilities should be taken to district level to reduce pressure on them.

NIKDU can hold dialysis of 200 patients every day with 60 machines. A patient has to pay Tk 510 for each dialysis, the lowest dialysis cost in the country.

Charitable organisation Gonoshasthaya Kendra has announced to provide ultra-poor kidney dialysis at Tk 500 from April 14. The price was earlier Tk 700 for each dialysis at Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital.

NIKDU director Mizanur said that a government project was underway to set up 10 dialysis beds in each district in addition to hospitals at divisional headquarters, where treatment for kidney, cancer and heart patients would be available.

Wrong treatment of quacks is among the factors leading to the growing number of kidney patients, he said.

‘I urge everyone to follow the prescriptions of registered doctors only,’ he said. The kidney disease expert suggested all drink enough water and take treatment in early-stage to prevent kidney damage.

‘Often people do not understand problems before damaging 70 per cent of their kidneys,’ he added.

Kidney Foundation executive committee president professor Harun Ur Rashid said that they were also facing huge pressure of kidney patients with a need of dialysis.

Many people visit the foundation as it offers dialysis at a relatively low price among private organisations.

As a result, patients need to wait a long to get their serial for dialysis.

The cost of single dialysis ranges from Tk 1,600 to Tk 5,000 at private facilities and a patient needs two to three dialyses each week, making the treatment expensive for patients.

Kidney Foundation conducts between 200 and 250 dialyses each day with its 100 machines in Dhaka. It also has 18 machines in Pabna, 20 in Sylhet and four in Sirajganj. The Foundation charges Tk 1600 for each dialysis while the poor can get a discount of up to 20 per cent.

Harun said their research found 40 per cent of people do not know about their diabetes while 60 per cent of people were not aware of their high blood pressure. Almost 90 per cent of people do not know that they release non-vegetarian food through their urine.

Citing Foundation’s study, he said 70-80 per cent of patients damage their kidneys due to late diagnosis and cannot recover.

‘More than 80 per cent of people in our country cannot afford kidney treatment costs resulting in the increased number of deaths and sufferings from the diseases,’ he said.

He advised all to walk 30-40 minutes every day along with physical exercise, take nutritious food, abstain from taking extra salt, sugar and cold drinks and smoke apart from drinking two to three litres of water every day.

According to the latest World Health Organisation data, kidney diseases caused 16,948 deaths in Bangladesh in 2018, which was 2.18 per cent of total deaths in the year.


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