The 21st century faces a new set of issues such as kidney diseases, obesity, diabetes and cardiac ailments

Very few make a conscious effort to drink at least three litres of water every day. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to protect the kidneys, say experts.

On World Kidney Day on Thursday, Georgi Abraham, founder trustee of Tamilnad Kidney Research (Tanker) Foundation, put the message forward by raising a toast, with a glass of water, to the health of kidneys. “In men, 60 per cent of the body is made up of water, while in women, it is 50 per cent. Drink water to protect the kidneys,” he said.

Kochouseph Chittilappilly, chairman and managing director of V-Guard Industries, who donated his kidney to a poor truck driver with renal failure in 2009, said many persons develop kidney diseases as they fail to drink adequate amount of water. He cited the case of a college student, who developed kidney disease as she avoided drinking water to keep from using public toilets.

Pondering over the reasons for donating his kidney, Mr. Chittilappilly said, “I was 60 years old then, but quite healthy. I wanted to send a message to society that it is possible to donate organs.”

Mr. Chittilappilly was delivering the second Lakshmi Venkataraman Endowment Oration on health issues in the 21st century, organised by Tanker Foundation.

Unlike decades ago, when small pox, leprosy and polio were prevalent, the 21st century faces a new set of issues such as kidney diseases, obesity, diabetes and cardiac ailments, he said.

Fr. Jose Palatty, coordinator of Syro Malabar Catholic Mission, said they are organising organ donation awareness drive among members of their churches in Chennai. There are about 40,000 members and they aim to get consent forms from at least 10,000 by April 20, he said.

K. Ganapathy, neurosurgeon of Apollo Hospitals, centenarian K.M. Philip of MRF Ltd. and K. Jacob, honorary secretary of Madras Medical Mission, also spoke.

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