ISLAMABAD - The chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rapidly growing in Pakistan due to late diagnosis, high volume of kidney stone disease and increasing number of patients with diabetes and high blood pressure and around 20,000 Pakistanis die of kidney failure every year.

Health experts expressed this at a seminar organized by the Shifa International Hospital to mark the World Kidney Day here on Thursday.

Leading public health expert and Director Health Services Capital Development Authority (CDA) Dr. Hasan Orooj was the chief guest of the seminar. A large number of people from all walks of life attended the seminar. Free serum creatinine tests were also conducted by the hospital on the occasion.

Dr. Farhat Abbas, Consultant Nephrologist and Head of Nephrology Department at SIH, said consuming junk and low quality food, self-medication and excessive use of medicine, low water intake, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and renal stones were a few causes of the kidney disease. It can also be inherited. He stressed to know all the possible causes of kidney diseases, living a simple and active life and adopting preventive measures to avoid complications.

He added that the best way to prevent kidney failure is early diagnosis of underlying disease and aggressive treatment.

Quoting the World Kidney Day Organization, Dr. Farhat said that around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. CKD is predicted to increase by 17 percent over the next decade, is now recognized as a global public health issue.

Dr. Hasan Orooj said that health equity was crucial to achieve healthcare goals and ensure that every citizen gets healthcare services without discrimination. He said that more than 43,000 persons die every year of organ failure in Pakistan. As many as 20,000 of them die of renal failure, while around 23,000 people die of other organ failures, including heart, liver, lungs and pancreas, he added.

Consultant Urologist and Director Kidney Transplant SIH Dr. Saeed Akhter said that the treatment of kidney failure is either hemodialysis 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. Highlighting the importance of cadaveric transplant, he urged Pakistanis to donate kidneys and other body organs after death as a deceased body can save nine lives.

Consultant Nephrologist Khawaja Sayeed Ahmed said Pakistan is at eighth position in the world in kidney diseases. He said toxic drugs and fake medicines have their own considerable share in kidney damage. It’s a myth that people cannot live longer after dialysis or kidney transplant, he added. You must opt for better treatment as early as possible, he stressed.

Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rezzan Khan said that to avoid kidney disease diet, nutrition and lifestyle should be healthy throughout the life even if diabetes or blood pressure is under control. She said, “Healthy kidneys remove waste products from the bloodstream. And in chronic kidney disease waste products can build up in the blood. Some of these waste products come from the food we eat. We may need to limit some foods to avoid complications.”