The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in ten people around the world is living with some form of kidney disease. In recognition of World Kidney Day, observed on the second Thursday of each March, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is partnering with Ooredoo to raise awareness about the importance of good kidney health.
Each year HMC marks World Kidney Day as part of its efforts to raise awareness of the risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Embracing the 2014 theme of ‘Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and aging,’ HMC is partnering with Ooredoo and holding activities from 9 to 14 March. Taking place at various schools, healthcare facilities and other public locations around the country, planned activities include:
• Special events at Al Bayan School complex on 11 March;
• Free blood sugar, blood pressure and other education activities on 13 March at Souq Waqif, City Centre Mall, Aspire Zone and Hamad General Hospital;
• A walkathon and other family activities at Katara Cultural Village on 14 March and,
• A scientific symposium on 15 March featuring HMC experts who will speak on the latest research in the field.
During a press conference held at Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City to announce the events, Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Khater, Executive Director of HMC’s Corporate Communications Department, expressed gratitude to Ooredoo for sponsoring the World Kidney Day campaign.
“We thank Ooredoo for their commitment to organizing community events aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Qatar’s population,” said Mr. Al Khater.
“Events such as World Kidney Day are an important vehicle for educating the public about both preventive behaviors and living well with chronic illness. I urge the public to take advantage of the many activities we have planned, including free blood sugar and blood pressure checks,” added Mr. Al Khater.
Dr. Hassan Al Malki, Consultant and Head of HMC’s Nephrology Department, said this year’s campaign will focus on raising awareness of the risk factors associated with kidney disease, such as having diabetes or high blood pressure, smoking, having a family history of kidney disease and being over 50 years of age.
“Early detection of the disease makes it easier to manage and mitigate the risk of complications affecting the cardiovascular system and the brain,” Dr. Al Malki said.
“Kidney disease can effectively be detected through blood and urine analysis. People who are prone to kidney disease, such as diabetic and hypertensive patients, should have their kidney function tested on a regular basis. If detected at an early stage, kidney disease is treatable,” Dr. Al Malki explained.
Ms. Fatima Sultan Al Kuwwari, Head of Public Relations at Ooredoo, said their sponsorship of World Kidney Day activities in Qatar is in line with the company’s commitment to connecting with the community.
“Our sponsorship of this important campaign is consistent with our commitment to serving the communities where we operate,” Ms. Al Kuwari said. “Another representation of such commitment is our partnership with the Leo Messi Foundation and the mobile health clinics initiative which provides medical aid for children in remote areas where Ooredoo operates.”
“Support of healthcare in Qatar is not new to us. Ooredoo has always been supportive of HMC’s efforts to combat and treat kidney disease; this stance has been realized through funding the renowned Fahad bin Jassim Kidney Center, which was established in memory of a man who contributed to the development of Qatar and Ooredoo. The Center, which encompasses 80 dialysis stations, 20 private rooms and provides dialysis treatment to over 400 kidney-disease patients a week, is considered one of the most modern medical facilities of its kind,” said Ms. Al Kuwari.
Ms. Aisha Al Khulaifi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at HMC, said the activities to be staged at Katara will be led by a 500-participant walkathon escorted by a military music band.
“A parade of Ambulance Service vehicles and quad bikes will also take part in the planned activities. There will be games and other activities focusing on health prevention and education,” said Ms. Al Khulaifi.