ISLAMABAD – Health experts say the incidence of chronic kidney disease are on the rise in Pakistan owing to late diagnosis, high volume of stones disease and rising trend of diabetes and high blood pressure and the best way to prevent kidney failure is early diagnosis of underlying disease and aggressive treatment.

The experts were speaking at a seminar organised by Shifa International Hospital to mark World Kidney Day on Thursday. Eminent Nuclear Scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was the chief guest of the seminar. A large number of people from all walks of life attended the seminar. Free blood test, sugar, haemoglobin, serum creatinine and urine R.E tests of the participants were also conducted by Shifa on this occasion. President and CEO SIH Dr Manzoor H Qazi gave vote of thanks in the end.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, while addressing to the participants of the said that always consult a qualified doctor in any disease and go for proper medication. He said that the government should invest in health and education sector to make a prosperous country in the world. He was of the view that Shifa was one of the hospitals in Pakistan that was providing medical care of an international standard thus people should not go abroad for treatment. Dr. Khan also stressed on the need to establish more hospitals like Shifa across the country to provide better health care to the people.

He also wished World Women Day to the participants and advised the men to give respect, dignity and rights to women. He also suggested married men to gift give flower or gift to their wives at least once a week.

Dr Saeed Akhtar, well known renal transplant surgeon, consultant urologist and head of kidney transplant department, SIH, said the best way to prevent kidney failure is early diagnosis of underlying disease and aggressive treatment. “However despite all the measures, some kidneys fail.” He suggested that the treatment of kidney failure is either haemodialysis or kidney transplant, whereas dialysis offers an excellent short time cure. “Transplant is the option which gives the best chance of a good long term quality of life,” he underlined. One year patient survival on haemodialysis is 75 per cent and after transplant it is 98 per cent. For patients who do not have a living donor available, they can opt for deceased donor transplantation (cadaveric transplant), he said. Dr. Akhtar highlighted that Islam gives permission for such transplant and all major Islamic bodies including Islamic Ideological Council of Pakistan have given their verdict in its favour.

He urged upon the masses to donate body organs after death as one deceased person can help 9 people live a better life by donating different body organs. The results of cadaveric transplant are very encouraging, he observed.

Consultant Nephrologist Khawaja Sayeed Ahmed said toxic drugs and fake medicines have their own considerable share in kidney damage. Kidney diseases are diagnosed through history, examinations by qualified doctors and certain tests. He said many kidney diseases can be treated efficiently if diagnosed in time. “Otherwise permanent kidney damage occurs that can prove fatal for the patient,” he stated. He was of the view that blood pressure and diabetes must be controlled optimally to keep kidney fit. Diet, nutrition and lifestyle should be healthy throughout the life even if diabetes or blood pressure is under control.

Dr. Khawaja however advised that once the kidney damages, patients with blood pressure and diabetes should visit their doctor regularly. The dose of antibiotics should be adjusted according to the kidney function, he added. He also recommended the audience to make sure fluid intakes are proper during kidney disorder.

Consultant Nephrologist Dr. Nayer Mahmud was of the view that many people know nothing about kidney disease until it’s too late. He observed that unlike many diseases, kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced. He expressed his regret that often because of lack of awareness on the side of physicians, diagnosis gets delayed. “To keep your kidneys healthier for longer time, a very important step is to learn about the disease and also get your kidneys tested on periodic basis, He recommended.

Dr. Nayer observed that the clues that can make people aware of kidney problems are generalized weakness, increasing paleness, aches and pain, vomiting, falling appetite, body swelling, breathing difficulties and blood in urine. Kidney diseases also run in families, he informed. Dr. Nayer said that kidney disease is usually a progressive disease, which means that the damage in the kidneys tends to be permanent. “So it is important to identify kidney disease early before the damage is inflicted.” This is also very important since kidney diseases also make risks for heart diseases and stroke higher. And if one or both kidneys fail completely then kidney no longer filters wastes properly to keep you healthy.