LAHORE - Yet another World Kidney Day will be observed today (Thursday) with the purpose to raise awareness about prevention and treatment of one of the common diseases, though without concrete steps and proper measures on the part of people at helm of affairs to minimise the agony of patients needing transplantation and dialysis.

Like the previous year, seminars, workshops and free medical camps have been planned both at the government and private level in major cities including Lahore just to mark the global event while the situation remained the same and even worsened for the patients who could not afford transplantation from abroad and dialysis from private hospitals.

Extra workload and less space is causing public sector hospitals to give dates of even months to the patients needing immediate dialysis. “This is causing people to approach private hospitals for dialysis. Those who can afford are left with no other option except to wait for date provided it came before further complications or death”, said a doctor working at Lahore General Hospital who wanted no to be quoted. Referring to the kidney transplantations facilities in the government sector, he said that regulations of Human Organs Transplant Authority (HOTA), shortage of surgeons and trained staff were major issues.

“HOTA has failed to check illegal trade of human organs. Powerful mafia is still doing the business of human organs and illegal transplantation at makeshift hospitals set up at houses. HOTA’s own regulation regarding blood relation between donors and the patient is one of the reason behind illegal transplantation. Those who could not afford transplantation from abroad look toward these private operation theatres at houses”, he said, adding, dozens of events were arranged on Wednesday and more have been planned for Thursday to mark the day but nothing on ground to facilitate the poor patients.

“Government should patronise proper and regular awareness campaigns regarding preventive measures, early diagnosis and treatment. It should enhance beds for dialysis patients not only at teaching hospitals but also at DHQ and THQ Hospitals. It should also make easy the process of provision of free medicines and disposables to the deserving patients”, he said, adding, it required political will which unfortunately lacked for health sector.

World Kidney Day (WKD) is an annual global awareness and education event, held on the second Thursday in March. It provides the perfect opportunity to get out in the community and share the WKD message with friends, family and people.

Every year, countless local and national events are organised by kidney charities, healthcare professionals, patient groups and individuals who want to make a difference. WKD began in 2006 and the global campaign highlights a particular theme every year, which for 2015 is: kidney health for all.

Fatima Jinnah Medical College/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital arranged a ceremony at Urology Department to mark WKD.

Speaking on the occasion, Head of Urology Department, Prof Mumtaz Ahmed stressed the need of enhancing capacity of allied health staff so that they could serve the ailing humanity in a better way. He vowed to make all out efforts for improving treatment facilities for dialysis patients. Dr Nazir, Dr Faisal Zaigham and Chairman PPA Malik Munir Ahmed attended the ceremony.

Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians arranged a seminar at Sheikh Zayed Hospital Auditorium to mark the day.

Addressing the participants, Prof Waqar Ahmed stressed the need of saving kidney by controlling diabetes and blood pressure and avoiding unnecessarily taking pain killers. He urged people to adopt healthy lifestyle and avoid self medication for the better health of kidneys.

Chairman PAFP Dr Tariq Mehmood Mian and other office bearers besides a large number of doctors attended the seminar.