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Diabetes, hypertension leading causes of kidney disease

Adherence to good nutrition, clean water and sanitation, and exercising is critical towards averting lifestyle diseases.

Diabetes and Hypertension remain the leading causes of Kidney Diseases, the world over.

According to Mediheal hospital chief kidney transplant surgeon, Dr Saman Sanand Bag, 70% of chronic kidney failure occur due to uncontrolled prolonged diabetes, high blood sugar, and long-standing uncontrolled hypertension.

Speaking at Mediheal hospital during this year’s Kidney Day commemoration, Dr Sanand said chronic kidney disease can be prevented through regular checkups, maintaining ideal body weight, drinking lots of water, and regular passing of urine to prevent urine infection that may end up causing kidney disease.

The surgeon also advised individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension to undergo routine urinary tests and take medication for high blood pressure and blood sugar under their doctors’ supervision.

“Control of BP and blood sugars has been seen to be very effective in preventing kidney disease and preventing the worsening into kidney failure for those already diagnosed with kidney failure symptoms,” he said.

The medic also appealed to patients who have been diagnosed with kidney failure to try and undergo a kidney transplant as early as possible to add to their quality of life.

“Kidney patients undergoing dialysis should seek transplant within two to three months after being diagnosed. It is unfortunate that 40 to 50% of kidney patients undergoing transplants in our facility are high-risk patients since they have waited for too long after being diagnosed with the disease which continues to affect other organs,” he added.

Kidney transplant, he advised, was the best option for kidney patients instead of regular dialysis which he said only offered temporary therapeutic relief to the patient. “When a patient undergoes dialysis twice or three times a week, the rest of the days the toxins continue piling up and affecting other organs in the body,” he explained.

Dr Sanand also noted that most kidney patients continue with dialysis because they were not aware that transplant facilities were available in local health facilities with the cost of operation significantly reduced compared to seeking surgery abroad.

“At Mediheal Hospital, we have undertaken more than 220 successful kidney transplants within the last three years at a cost of between Sh1.5 million and 1.8 million. The cost for similar transplant in India, South Africa, or the US would be three to four times with other additional costs in travel and accommodation,” he said.

Other challenges include the availability of a donor as well as finances. Most people think when they donate their kidney, they will be deformed and would no longer be normal which is not true, said Dr Sanand. He added that the cost of a kidney transplant locally has also been cushioned by medical insurance such as NHIF.

By Kiptanui Cherono


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