Due to rampant poverty and lack of healthcare accessibility, less than 10 per cent of those diagnosed with renal disease undergo dialysis, said doctors at the unveiling of a dialysis centre to cater to the needs of economically backward sections, here on Sunday.

M. Shantaram Shetty, orthopaedician and chairman of Tejasvini Hospital, where the dialysis centre was inaugurated, said 15 per cent of the nearly 25 lakh people in the country diagnosed with renal conditions (ailments of the kidney) succumb to the disease.

“Renal diseases are the very painful, where the whole family is doomed financially and morally… dialysis is needed twice or thrice a week, and mortality is high,” he said.

Nephrologist Shashidhar Baikunje estimated that barely 60,000 patients in the country undergo dialysis – which is less than 10 per cent of the total number of renal patients.

Considering that renal transplants were expensive and rare due to the lack of availability of organs, N. Vinaya Hegde, Chancellor of Nitte University, said that organ donation should be made compulsory. “The entire population of 1.2 billion people in the country is susceptible to diabetes, which is a leading cause of renal failures. The cost of heathcare is so high that those in the rural areas choose to die instead of putting their families through the expenses of dialysis. Some solution needs to be found for this,” he said.

Two machines, which were inaugurated by K. Abhayachandra Jain, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, were donated to the hospital by Lions Club International (District 317d). The centre cost the club Rs. 18 lakh, and patients will be given free treatment if they get in touch with the Lions Trust (0824-4253555).

More In: Mangalore