The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) conducted free health screenings as part of its campaign to mark the World Kidney Day 2014.
The campaign which was inaugurated at Dubai Hospital by Dr Ahmad Bin Kalban, CEO of Hospital Services Sector at the DHA is in line with DHA’s commitment to create public awareness about kidney disease.
Keeping in mind this year’s global theme, “Chronic Kidney Disease,” DHA hospitals and health centres highlighted the need to raise awareness for early screening of the disease as well as the need for the public to be aware of the importance of kidney donation.
As part of the run up to this campaign, the DHA organized free screening camps at many of its hospitals and health centres like Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital, Nad Al Hammar Centre and Al Twar Centre as well as private and government organizations including DU, RTA, DEWA etc to raise awareness about the importance of early detection. Tests included blood, urine, blood pressure and weight check-up to help determine whether the patient already has damaged kidneys or is at a risk of developing kidney disease. Of the 473 people screened, 275 had high blood pressure and were not aware of it, while 28 had diabetes are were not aware of their condition. Dubai Hospital has a dedicated Nephrology Department and in January this year the hospital opened the first dedicated Kidney Transplant Unit in Dubai. By the end of this month the hospital will perform three kidney transplants.
Dr Mohammed Railey, Consultant Head of the Nephrology Department at Dubai Hospital, said, “On World Kidney Day, we are taking this opportunity to advocate the importance of kidney donation to raise awareness about the fact that there are several patients, including some children, who need a kidney transplant to tackle chronic kidney disease, which unfortunately is more prevalent in the UAE due to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.” He said, “The hospital is also promoting the importance of early detection.”
Dr Farhad Kheradmand Al Janahi, specialist urologist and transplant surgeon at Dubai Hospital, said: “A major problem we face is that most of our patients visit us when they already have advanced kidney disease. The main reasons for this is lack of awareness and the fact this disease is a silent disease and often goes undetected until it reaches the advanced stages when the patient already has kidney failure and may even need dialysis. Hence, healthcare practitioners advocate the importance of early detection.”
If the patient’s kidney is damaged, proteins are leaked into the urine and can be identified with a simple urine test. Riley “People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and therefore they must regularly undergo kidney screening tests.”
He added, “The Dubai Hospital Nephrology Department has 290 patients suffering from kidney disease. Of these 250 are on hemodialysis and 40 are on home peritoneal dialysis. Every year, we see a 10 to 15% rise in the number of patients, which this is a global trend, however, the main reason for the high prevalence of kidney disease in this region is the fact that a significant percentage of our population has diabetes. Nearly 50% of our patients on dialysis are diabetic. Therefore for us, it is imperative to advocate the importance of early screening, especially for diabetics. If detected early, Chronic Kidney Diseases can be treated thereby reducing other complications of the disease.”
He said, “The age group of patients varies from 15 years to 91 years.” Riley added, “Since people in the UAE are often in an air-conditioned environment, they do not consume sufficient water. He said on a daily basis every individual should consume eight to ten glasses of water and this acts as a preventive measure against developing Kidney Diseases.”
The campaign was organized by the Nephrology Department at Dubai Hospital.