Staff Reporter

Forum launches drive to promote awareness on the organ

Poor patients get assistance for dialysis, medicines

Panchayats asked to give Rs. 2,500 to the society

MALAPPURAM: The Kidney Patients Welfare Society, a venture of the Malappuram district panchayat, launched an awareness campaign on the importance of kidneys on Thursday. World Kidney Day was observed across the globe this day with the message that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common, harmful and treatable. (World Kidney Day is observed on every second Thursday of March.)

The campaign took the society volunteers to remote villages of the district, including Chaliyar and Karulai near Nilambur, where they distributed pamphlets on the role kidneys play in our wellbeing. The campaign, being carried out in association with the palliative care clinics in the district, will continue for a month. K. Sreenivasan, coordinator of the society, said that the campaign would also aim at raising funds for the work.

The Kidney Patients Welfare Society, formed over a year ago, supports 170 poor kidney patients for dialysis and several others for medication. Hospitals in the district charge between Rs.300 and Rs.600 for a dialysis. The society gives poor patients Rs.250 for a dialysis.

Dialysis machines

The society has set up two dialysis machines at M.E.S. Medical College, Perinthalmanna. Each machine can do a maximum of only 12 dialysis a month. The machines costing Rs.16 lakhs were donated by the Bruce Davis Trust, UK.

Apart from the funds allocated by the district panchayat, the society depends on donations. It spent Rs.22 lakhs in the first year to support poor patients in the district. “We currently require Rs.50 lakh a year,” said Mr. Sreenivasan.

Kind hearts

The recent decision of the government making it mandatory for the grama panchayats to give Rs. 2,500 a year to the society has raised hopes. With the district’s 102 panchayats having offered to help, the society hopes to get Rs.2.55 lakh a year. Several banks in the district too have offered to be part of the kidney care drive. The Malappuram District Service Cooperative Bank recently donated Rs.1 lakh to the society.