Experts root for healthy lifestyle to prevent kidney disease

Mombasa Hospital organized a medical camp to raise awareness on kidney disease to mark the occasion of World Kidney Day.

The World Kidney Day Steering Committee has declared 2021 the year of “Living Well with Kidney Disease”.

Dr. Esther Getambu, a healthcare practitioner, specializing as a Physician (Nephrologist), says people with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases, have a greater risk of developing kidney disease.

She said living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease, or help keep them under control.

She says chronic kidney disease also called kidney failure or renal failure is a condition in which the kidneys lose some of their ability to remove waste products and excess fluid from the bloodstream.

“The most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure and in the early stages there are no symptoms,” she said.

Dr. Getambu, also a former vice-chair of the Kenya Renal Association noted that obesity, hypertension and diabetes are ‘potent risk factors for the development of kidney disease’.

She noted the best way to confront kidney failure is to diagnose it early and control the underlying causes.

The medic said these diseases affect the kidneys normal functions hence leading to high toxic and wastes circulation in the body which in the long run lead to total breakdown of kidney functions.

She says unhealthy lifestyles are responsible for the growing cases of hypertension and high cholesterol levels in the country.

She said currently Kenya National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital remain the two main public facilities that carry out kidney transplants for people suffering from renal and nephrological disorders in the country.

She said Kenyans traveling outside the country in search of kidney transplant will be a thing of the past once the Kenya Renal Institute which is under construction in Nairobi is completed.

“The institute, which is being funded by the African Development Bank, will be a centre of excellence for the East African region, and will result in reduction of healthcare costs, increase medical tourism and productivity,” she said.

On his part, Dr. Mohamed Sood a Physician (Nephrologist) who works at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital said the facility now has the capacity to launch a kidney transplant programme.

Dr. Sood said they have kidney transplant recipients but the hospital has delayed carrying out the procedure noting that recipients with Covid-19 are at a high risk of death.

“Patients with kidney transplants seem to be at particularly high risk for severe Covid-19 disease but once the pandemic subsides we will carry out transplant since we have theatre and critical care staff” he said.


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