In India, one person in every ten people is suffering from kidney related diseases. Yet more than half of the patients won’t even know of their illness until their kidney is damaged by more than 60%. As per a study by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), approximately 1.50 lakh new kidney patients are added to the existing lot every year out of which only few are able to get some form of treatment.
The problem has attained serious proportions. Every year lakhs of patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease are left untreated or do not get kidney transplant either due to lack of early diagnosis, lack of funding for the transplantation or due to unavailability of matching kidney donor. About five lakh kidney transplants are needed in India each year, but a few thousands of the patients could eventually get a new lease of life through this costly procedure.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has been established as the third biggest non-communicable disease after hyper-tension and diabetes. Also, the first two diseases too affect the kidneys and often culminate into CKD. According to figures, about 60% of the Chronic Kidney Disease patients have a history of either diabetes or high blood pressure or even both. If detected early, CKDs can be treated timely thereby reducing other complications and dramatically reduce the growing burden of deaths and disability from chronic renal and cardiovascular diseases.
It is necessary to acknowledge the risks involved around CKD. In the initial stages, the disease remains hidden and hence untreated. Health authorities have a daunting task to deal with high cost of treatment if no timely action is taken in view of the growing number of patients with CKD.
World Kidney Day is a reminder to take action against CKD and make sure to monitor the health of this vital organ. The day is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about these complicated organs and look for the way to keep them healthy. Early detection of issues related to kidneys will make a timely intervention possible and in turn putting up a successful fight against this ailment.
The objective of World Kidney Day is to make everybody understand that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for CKD and thus encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD. The emphasis is laid on educating medical fraternity about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk population.
The local and national health authorities have to play a pivotal role in controlling CKD. Through this day, a message is passed on to encourage all governments to take action and invest in further kidney screening.
In the eventuality of kidney failure, organ transplant has to be encouraged as the best option and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative. Government of India has enacted the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011 which contains various provisions for encouraging human organ donation including kidney donation and cadaver kidney donation. So far, many steps have been taken by the Government to prevent and manage the chronic kidney diseases. Dialysis facility has been made available with major Government hospitals.
National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio-vascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) has been launched by Government of India, which will help in reducing chronic renal diseases and incidences of renal failure.
In order to create health awareness among the population, Government of India has launched special programmes being telecast on Doordarshan and All India Radio on various Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including Chronic Kidney Diseases.
Lack of timely treatment of CKD patients may leave them and their entire family in misery. Need of the hour is to adopt a healthy lifestyle and a proper periodical monitoring and screening of high-risk individuals. On this day let’s pledge to learn and share more information about this vital organ and the possible risks related to it.