Mumbai Local

Cost factor: 10% kidney patients turn down a donor

Of the 3,000 patients with chronic kidney disorder on the waiting list for a kidney in Mumbai, an estimated 10 per cent turn down a donor as they are unable to afford the cost of a transplant .

Officials of the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) say they have to skip such cases to move on to patients who can afford the treatment.

Given the cost-intensive treatment of chronic kidney disorder — be it dialysis or a transplant — doctors say the focus should now be on prevention and not just cure.

The rising burden of the disease is indicative of people still ignoring precautions that doctors have been advising for years.

“Every month, we add 25 to 30 new patients on the waiting list for a kidney. And of around 100 new cases, at least 10 would have financial problems and [refuse] a kidney when it is offered to them,” said an official of ZTCC. The disease burden has led to doctors recommending early screening, in tune with the theme of World Kidney Day — acting early to prevent it — being observed on Wednesday. “We are approaching the disease with the aim of treatment, but not looking at prevention. You are a candidate for a kidney disorder if you have diabetes and hypertension. The cost of renal replacement therapy — dialysis or transplant — is still very high,” said Dr Alan Almeida, consultant in nephrology and transplant physician with Hinduja Hospital and secretary of Mumbai Nephrology Group. He said, among other measures, screening programmes for children are being recommended.

Another concern among doctors is the unchecked use of painkillers and their over-the-counter sale. “Just this morning, I had a patient who admitted to popping a painkiller at least once a week,” Dr Almeida said.

Limited resources are another reason why prevention is being emphasised . Dr MM Bahadur, nephrologist with Wockhardt Hospital, said around two lakh patients reach CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis) stage five, where they need dialysis, of which less than 10 per cent actually get treated. due to non-availability of facilities, cost factor, and proximity.”

He said India has only 300-400 dialysis centres and about 1,500 nephrologists in metro cities, who treat kidney patients, so more than 60 per cent of the patients do not receive medical attention in time. “Due to lack of awareness, patients in need of donors are left waiting in vain. Only four per cent of the patients get donors. It is therefore imperative to make a conscious effort to bring about awareness among people,” said Dr Bahadur.

Doctors say

the focus should now be on prevention and

not just cure

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 12:48:01 PM |

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