Staff Reporter

Nephrologits worried over lack of awareness

  • Diabetic nephropathy, which was not common earlier, is on the rise
  • Those undergoing dialysis twice or thrice a week are around 400 to 500 in the city

    HYDERABAD: Everything is not right with kidneys in the city. And this has nothing to do with the allegations of rampant kidney sale rackets.

    The rising prevalence of kidney-related ailments and Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) and more importantly, an abysmal lack of awareness on the issue are worrying nephrologists in the city.

    Reports of diabetic kidney problems, kidney stones, pregnancy-related kidney failures and complications known in medical jargon as post streptococcal infections of the kidney or polycystic kidney diseases, most of which have become rare in Western countries, are now gradually on the rise in the city.

    It is not just the increasing prevalence that is worrying doctors. The profile of patients includes a large number of children, mostly complaining of problems like streptococcal infections on the kidney and genetic ailments like polycystic kidneys.

    "Post streptococcal infections or pregnancy-related kidney failures are now uncommon in foreign set ups, but they are being reported here. Genetic disorders like polycystic kidney diseases are being seen in around five per cent of kidney failure patients here as well," says Pradeep Deshpande, head of the nephrology unit at Gandhi Hospital.

    Grave threat

    "Diabetic nephropathy, which was not common earlier, is on the rise while seven out of 10 dialysis patients are now those with diabetic kidney disorders. This shows that a person should not get treated for his diabetes alone, but should be treated as a whole because related disorders are increasing," he says.

    The number of patients surviving on dialysis in the city could show how grave a threat CKDs are to the city's health. Those undergoing haemo-dialysis (done at haemo-dialysis centres under medical guidance) twice or thrice a week are around 400 to 500 in the city. Those who do continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) (done at home) are around 150.

    The number of kidney transplants too is going up, says Dr. Deshpande. While cadaver donations, still in a nascent stage, are around two per month, the number of related donor transplants is around 10 to 12 every month.

    Counselling

    The main reason behind the rising threat is the lack of awareness among the public, he points out, adding that even simple urine tests that can give sufficient information are ignored by most. "Hyderabad has most of the latest treatment options. But these can be costly, so early detection is always essential. Regular checkups, genetic counselling for polycystic kidney diseases and awareness programmes are required."

    With the second World Kidney Day falling on March 8, the city's Nephrology Forum and others are gearing up to conduct lectures, awareness programmes and distribute pamphlets in the city, he adds.