• April 19, 2024
  • Last Update April 19, 2024 7:23 AM
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Residents tipped on Chronic Kidney Disease

Residents tipped on Chronic Kidney Disease

Uasin Gishu,

Friday, March 15, 2024,

KNA by Daniel Kibet

The administration of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) has called on residents of Uasin Gishu County to embrace healthy lifestyles to avoid Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

The Hospital conducted a procession to educate and create awareness among the members of the public on CKD as they joined the others in the country in marking World Kidney Day 2024 themed ‘Kidney Health for All’.

It also offered free screening services and blood donation.

Addressing the media at MTRH, Chief Medical Specialist (Nephrology), Dr. Cheptinga Philip noted that chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is majorly caused by unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, intake of refined foods, and lack of awareness.

He revealed that more than 850 million people worldwide are affected by Chronic Kidney Disease which has resulted in over 3.1 million deaths as of 2019.

“Approximately 10 per cent of the human population has kidney disease and this includes the Kenyan population too. In MTRH we have more than 10,000 patients diagnosed with kidney disease right from clinics, replacement, dialysis and successfully transplanted,” he said.

Dr. Cheptinga said that more than 3,000 patients are admitted monthly to MTRH for checkups, dialysis, and transplants, noting that there is a lack of enough doctors in the country to offer these services.

“In Kenya, there are 45 Nephrologists, less than ten transplant surgeons, and less than five for the entire region. And that tells you that a huge gap exists,” noted Dr. Cheptinga.

He added that the government has positively impacted the fight against the disease, particularly in primary health care by supporting patients who have been diagnosed with the disease financially.

“The government has in the past supported kidney patients through dialysis whereby it pays Sh 9,500 per session twice a week. It has also supported the transplant patients where it pays 600,000 per session and hopefully shortly patients will access these services for free,” he added.

He expressed confidence that the implementation of the primary Social Health Insurance Fund and Chronic Disease Fund will enable patients to receive free transplant services and free post-transplant medication treatment.

Additionally, Dr. Cheptinga added that despite the positive steps by the government, they have experienced various challenges, particularly in the laboratory services in terms of funding.

He suggested the establishment of the National Health Laboratory Services parastatal to address the gaps that exist in the health laboratory service in the country.

In his remarks, Ag. Senior Director of Clinical Services Dr. Owen Menach indicated that MTRH has been at the forefront in encouraging and advancing medical care, especially in Kidney transplantation and super specialized services.

“As MTRH we take pride in kidney transplantation which we started in 2006 and over time we have transplanted over 120 patients so far and all are in good health,” he noted.

He added that the largest referral in the region has registered very low death rates in terms of the primary illness that causes kidney diseases like diabetes and hypertension, noting that health checks and regular testing are key in reducing the cases of kidney disease.

“Kidney disease in 2019 killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide and it is increasing over time. If no action is taken it will be among the top five in the future therefore healthy living is encouraged and people should seek help because screening and early diagnosis prevent damage to the kidney,” explained Dr. Menach.

On his part, Titus Terigi Chairman of the North Rift Kidney Patients Association shared his experience and encounter when he was diagnosed with kidney failure and received a transplant in the early 90’s at Kenyatta National Hospital.

He lauded the MTRH for always being consistent in terms of providing weekly health check-ups for his and other patients’ kidney health.

He acknowledged the national government for introducing the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) which will cover chronic illnesses and emergency treatment, as compared to the past when NHIF covered transplants only and patients had difficulties in getting medication.

He added that Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital does transplants twice a month and it has given patients an easy way not to use a lot of money to travel to Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi Hospital. He also affirmed that transplant does not affect the general functioning of the body either of the donor or recipient.

” It’s a myth that after transplant a patient will have general body weakness because it’s been 26 years since I had a successful transplant and am much healthier,” he said.

Terigi urged the government to come up with a plan to establish organ harvesting and also a donor bank for patients who need emergency help like organ transplants.

Courtesy; KNA

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