In turning from a software professional to managing a kidney care centre and foundation, Kamal D. Shah has found his true calling

After being diagnosed with atypical Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome, Kamal D Shah was put on dialysis. He has been on dialysis for the past 15 years.

He started sharing his experiences and how to be psychologically prepared for the hospital visits and lifestyle changes of a dialysis patient in his blog www.kamaldshah.com. Vikram Vuppala and Sandeep Gudibanda came across his blog and got in touch with him, an association that led to the three them to start a kidney care centre, Nephroplus. Nephroplus was established in 2010 at Banjara Hills and has since expanded to eight centres in Andhra Pradesh and two in Bangalore.

“Once a patient is put on dialysis, he has to come to the centre thrice a week. It is a chronic condition till he gets a transplant. He has to learn to fit dialysis into his daily schedule and get on with rest of his life,” says Kamal D Shah. “With our centre we wanted to create an ambience where the patient doesn’t feel like he is in a hospital,” he says. He adds that the entire process of dialysis takes about four hours and a hospital ambience can be depressive. “The wait is boring and frustrating. So we have television and internet services. Our staff is trained and they constantly interact with the patients,” he explains. Another problem that is observed among dialysis patients is infection leading to Hepatitis C. However, Kamal feels that not enough care is being taken to prevent it.

“We have introduced a Zero Infection Kit that completely eliminates the possibility of an infection,” he says.

Apart from managing his centre, Kamal has started the Hyderabad Kidney Foundation which is a support group for dialysis patients.

From inviting experts to give talks and going out for dinner and movies, this support group talks and share its experiences. “When you go to a restaurant the first thing they serve is water. But for dialysis patients we need to drink a restricted amount for water. There are some conditions which are peculiar to dialysis patients— this support group helps members in facing them,” he says.

The risks of kidney diseases are more among diabetics but he advises that a controlled diet and lifestyle go a long way in keeping dialysis at bay.

From being a software professional to dedicating his full time to managing the centre and foundation, Kamal D. Shah feels that he has found his true calling.