KARACHI – Experts on the occasion of World Kidney Day urged the citizens to take preventive measures against the spread of kidney diseases in the country. They said that regular medical checkup of the disease was vital for every citizen to stay healthy.   Organ failure, especially renal failure, has become dilemma for Pakistan as 20,000 people die in the country due to kidney failure, which is really a matter of concern not only for health experts but also for the government and every common man as well, they said while talking to The Nation on Thursday on the occasion of the World Kidney Day.  The day is being organised all over the world, while this year the theme is “Kidneys for Life - Stop Acute Kidney Injury”.According to “worldkidneyday.org”, a health website, “In 2013 World Kidney Day is focusing on Acute Kidney Injury. “Stop Kidney Attack!” We hope to raise awareness of AKI and stimulate discussion, education and policy development leading to improved prevention and treatment of this major public health across the globe. Many people are currently not aware that their kidneys are damaged and they might find out too late. The need for dialysis or transplantation can be avoided if kidney diseases are detected early. As a patient there is something you can do—share your story and raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease - you might just save a life!”Following the world’s initiative, various seminars, discussions, conferences and public awareness programmes were also held in the metropolis. However, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Pakistan and Aga Khan University Hospitals are the leading health institutions of the city where public health awareness programmes are regularly held.   WORLD KIDNEY DAY AT SIUTSindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation also observed the day on Thursday at SIUT Karachi, and Kathore as a part of worldwide celebration. Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi was also invited on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion, SIUT Director Prof Adib Rizvi showed concern over the rapid spread of the disease in the country, and said that every year about 50,000 people in Pakistan die of organ failure, out of which 20,000 due to renal failure, 15,000 due to liver failure, 8,000 from heart failure, and the rest due to failure of lungs and pancreas.He said that Pakistan has an existing law for deceased organ donation and if we start cadaver organ donation in our country, we can save majority of patients suffering from the organ failure.Dr Rizvi said every year there is an alarming increase in the incidence of renal failure. “About 250-300 million people worldwide suffer from this disease. There is a 40 per cent increase in the incidence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension which are one of the leading causes of chronic renal failure. There is an urgent need for early detection through blood and urine tests, and kidneys ultrasound. The diabetes specialists of SIUT said every year 366 million people suffer from diabetes world over and by year 2030 this number will increase to 552 million of which 80 per cent of the patients live in middle and lower income group. Pakistan will be the 10th largest country of the world having diabetic patients. It is necessary to control diabetes at an early stage to prevent chronic renal failure,” he said.The nephrologists of SIUT highlighted the main causes of acute kidney failure which are vomiting, diarrhea, malaria, infection, pregnancy complications, burns, accidents, adverse effects of medicines, glomerulonephritis and urinary tract obstruction etc. The experts further said that the stone disease is also a major cause of renal failure in this part of the world. With adequate oral hydration we can minimize the stone disease burden.The dieticians/nutritionists of SIUT said obesity is one of the main reasons of cardiac diseases, diabetes, and hypertension and stressed upon the fact that this is also preventable. The national health survey of the country showed obesity is more common in urban population especially amongst females. A balanced diet, low salt use and regular physical activity would really help to prevent obesity and related diseases. It was also announced that World Kidney Day will also be celebrated for the first time at SIUT Chablani Medical Centre, Minara Chowk, Sukkur on March 15.Edhi highlighted importance of regular medical checkup of disease and preventive measures and mentioned that he himself is a regular visitor to SIUT for medical consultation. He appreciated the efforts of SIUT in reaching out for awareness. WORLD KIDNEY DAY AT AKUHOn other hand, the Aga Khan University Hospital also organised an awareness session on the occasion of World Kidney Day. The awareness programme was held at Aga Khan University Auditorium, in which Dr Waqar Kashif delivered a lecture on ‘Your amazing kidneys’; Dr Muhammad Mabood Abdul Khalil on ‘How to protect your amazing kidneys’; Dr Arshad Ahmed on ‘Do you have kidney disease?’; Dr Iqtidar Khan on ‘Kidney diseases in children’ and Dr Hammad Ather on ‘Kidney stones’.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 15-Mar-2013 here.