The Star (Nairobi)

20 March 2013

Kenya: One Million Kenyans Suffer From Kidney Diseases, Says Eldoret Doctor

Photo: Capital FM
Change in lifestyle has been named as one of the causes of kidney problems in Kenya (file photo).

More than One million people in Kenya including 600,000 youth suffer from kidney ailments.

Experts from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital have lamented that the country lacks adequate personnel to deal with the increasing kidney diseases.

One of the experts Dr. Philip Cheptinga says that the number of people suffering from Kidney ailments in the country has been on the rise because of a number of factors especially changing lifestyles.

"There is need to prioritize preventive rather than curative measures. Kenyans should go for regular scanning, adopt healthy lifestyles and take other measures that will keep their kidneys healthier," he observed.

Dr. Cheptinga said that the Kenyan Government should train Nephrologists, Paramedics and other health staff to respond to the increasing number of patients.

"Kenya is facing acute shortage of Kidney Specialists. Currently, a Nephrologist serves over 1 million people.

Lifestyle diseases including; diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are the most common causes of Chronic Kidney Diseases in developing countries like Kenya."

The hospital a series of events to mark the World Kidney Day under the theme "stop kidney attack".

Eight to ten per cent of the adult population, Dr Cheptinga said, suffer from some form of kidney damage and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to Chronic Kidney Disease.

Statistics show that over 40 per cent of kidney-related deaths occur in developing countries where resources for diagnosis and treatment are limited.

Dr Cheptinga said the kidney diseases burden is expected to increase by nearly 46 per cent due to rising trends of kidney related diseases.

The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney foundation participated in events aimed at sensitizing the public on kidney ailments.

"Once we educate the public on how to handle the related diseases then it will be easier to deal with the situation,"said Cheptinga.

This year's campaign educated the general public and the healthcare fraternity about diseases that affect the kidneys and the importance of early detection and intervention.

MTRH is developing and expanding most of its facilities including the Renal Unit which deals with some of the kidney ailments. Donors and the government are helping in the expansion of the facilities at the hospital which handles many cases from the East African Community region.

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