Special Correspondent

This year's emphasis for World Kidney Day is on diabetes-induced kidney disease

Kozhikode: The government should accord more importance to the management of kidney diseases, Nephrology Association of Kerala president Rajaratnam Krishnan has said.

Dr. Krishnan, a former Professor of Nephrology at the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, said this in a message on World Kidney Day on Thursday.

About 800 to 1,000 patients undergo dialysis every month at the medical college hospital here. The hospital is equipped with15 dialysis machines and two more would be available shortly.

There is a long list of patients waiting for dialysis and there are about 45 to 50 patients who are in the queue for kidney transplant, according to M. Sreelatha, Head, Nephrology Department, Medical College, Kozhikode.

At least one kidney transplant, which could cost around Rs.1.5 lakh, is done at the hospital every week.

The success rate is encouraging as 90 per cent of the patients survive for more than five years past the surgery, Dr. Sreelatha, who is also the president of the Calicut Nephrology Club, said.

Dialysis facilities are available at all major hospitals in and around Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad. Some private hospitals also have facilities for kidney transplant.

The idea of marking a calendar day (World Kidney Day) was conceived by the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) realising that chronic kidney disease (CKD) had become a global public health issue. It was but low on the government health agenda and care of advanced CKD patients continued to be expensive, Dr. Krishnan's message said.

This year's emphasis is on diabetes-induced kidney disease as diabetes is the most common cause of kidney diseases, he said. Dr. Krishnan stressed the need for early detection as it is the best way to check the progress of ailments to a stage when it would require dialysis or transplant.

Disorders can be detected early through tests and its progression could be prevented using medicines, he said.

Over 40 per cent of patients attending dialysis the world over are diabetic. Of this, 98 per cent cases are secondary to Type 2 diabetes.

Programmes to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes should be taken up with lifestyle modification and medications.