M. Sai Gopal

Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) emerging as a major health problem

HYDERABAD: Nephrologists at various government hospitals in twin cities believe that the decision to set up 10 new dialysis centres starting from Hyderabad, will not resolve the larger crisis, which is emergence of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) as a major health problem.

A dialysis centre in twin cities will surely help patients, but the fact remains that none of the government hospitals, including Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), have a long-term action plan, on the lines of the existing strategy to address heart ailments among kids to address CKD.

A fool-proof strategy is the only answer to counter this problem, say doctors.

Efforts should be made to initiate prevention and control programme for kidney ailments at a very early stage through mass screening programmes in Government hospitals is needed, nephrologists point out.

In fact a scientific paper by doctors of NIMS printed in Indian Journal of Medicine, April-2007, calls for such a long-term plan for CKD. Though the number of people suffering with kidney ailments in Hyderabad and elsewhere in State remains unaccounted for doctors testify that it’s a major public health problem.

With an estimated 100 end-stage kidney patients per million people there could be a lakh patients per year in India.

NIMS experience shows that 60 per cent patients on dialysis drop out, 84.2 per cent in the first three months itself. Only five per cent patients undergo transplantation because of cost constraints,” the paper says.

Common causes

“Any serious attempts to launch a programme needs data on kidney ailments like prevalence, incidence, common causes, time for progression to end stage and so on, which are not available. We need a renal registry to address the issue. Moreover, we only have 70 qualified nephrologists in government sector,” says a doctor.

Renal registry would provide an insight on the burden of kidney diseases and help measure Hyderabad’s capacity to provide support to patients.

“Without doing any ground work, it would be knee-jerk reaction just to start a dialysis centre,” conclude experts.