Pakistan ranked 8th in the world in kidney diseases: Experts

Observing world kidney day, SIUT (Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation) organized day long public awareness program events at its Dewan Farooq Medical Centre Karachi, SIUT Primary Healthcare Center Kathore, SIUT Chhablani Medical Centre Sukkur and SIUT Camp at Press Club Mithi Tharparkar.

World kidney day is an international event celebrated in March all over the world with the collaboration of World Health Organization (WHO), International Society for Nephrology (ISN) and The International Federation of Kidney Foundation (IFKF). This year's theme is "Kidney health: for everyone everywhere". The main objective of holding this day is to make the people aware about the importance and function of kidneys, the diagnosis of kidney diseases, methods of prompt treatment and most of all prevention of kidney diseases by informing and educating the masses.

On this occasion the SIUT experts highlighted that the sharp increase in number of kidney diseases is alarming as an estimate of 850 million people are affected with kidney diseases worldwide resulting in 2.4 million deaths annually which is ranked as the sixth fastest growing cause of death worldwide.

They disclosed that Pakistan is the eighth largest country with high prevalence of kidney diseases causing 20 thousand deaths annually. They pointed out that the leading cause of chronic kidney diseases are primarily diabetes, kidney glomerular diseases and high blood pressure while other causes are excessive use of pain killers, some Hakeemi medicines, genetic disorders, by birth defects, stone disease, infections, environmental pollution and unhygienic conditions, and older age etc. Unfortunately, most of the kidney is already damaged by the time the symptoms of kidney diseases appear. According to the experts, the main symptoms and features of kidney diseases include swollen face and feet, tiredness, lack of appetite, lack of concentration, blood in urine, frothy urine, vomiting, difficulty in breathing etc.

Explaining the cardinal measures for prevention of kidney diseases they advised for low intake of salt and oily foods, staying hydrated, eating more fruits and vegetables, staying physically active, regular checkup with doctors, no consumption of alcohol and tobacco, maintaining ideal weight, controlling sugar levels for diabetic patients, controlling high blood pressure in hypertensive patients and compliance with medications as directed by the physician.

The day long activities chalked out by SIUT included free clinical testing like blood, urine tests, measurement of height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure etc. Free checkup / consultations by medical specialists, nutritional and dietary advices facilities were provided. There were ongoing lectures and tutorials related to kidney diseases delivered throughout the day. Distribution of educational material to create awareness among the masses about kidney ailments was also carried out. Those who spoke in the public awareness program were Dr. Sarfraz Sarwar, Dr. Munawar Khaliq, Diabetologist Dr. Sobia Naheed, Dr Fouzia Mushtaq dietician Ms. Naila Rasheed and others.

A large number of people participated in the event and availed the facilities.