| Azlan Othman |
CHRONIC Kidney Disease (CKD) is a non-communicable disease affecting one in 10 people worldwide.
The disease causes at least 2.4 million deaths annually and is now the sixth increasingly fastest cause of death from year to year.
According to the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), approximately 850 million people worldwide suffer from kidney disease from various causes. Acute kidney injuries is the main cause of CKD, affecting over 13 million people worldwide, of which 85 per cent of these cases are found in low and middle income countries.
This was stated in Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar’s message to mark World Kidney Day celebrated every March 14.
CKD usually occurs quietly. It often destroys most kidney functions first before showing any symptoms.
Among the symptoms of chronic kidney disease are swollen ankle, fatigue with no cause, difficulty in concentrating, decreased appetite and foamy urine.
However, if CKD can be detected earlier, proper treatment not only slow downs the impact of the disease but may also prevent it from developing. Meanwhile, CKD without treatment can lead to kidney failure which is life-threatening.
In Brunei Darussalam, 4,958 patients were diagnosed with CKD at the end of 2018. Among the major causes of CKD are diabetes, high blood pressure and glomerulonephritis or kidney inflammation.
In the same year, there were 783 end-stage renal failure patients with 655 undergoing haemodialysis and 82, peritoneal dialysis.
Meanwhile, 46 patients who had kidney transplants received follow-up treatment.
The cost of treatment associated with kidney disease is very significant where the total cost of haemodialysis treatment including the cost of renal medicines in the financial year 2018/2019 alone is BND13.7 million and has increased from year to year.
In connection with the increase in the problem of kidney disease, every year on the second Thursday of March, the world celebrates the World Kidney Day and this year it was celebrated yesterday.
This is a joint initiative of the ISN and IFKF and in recent years, more than 90 countries have celebrated the World Kidney Day.
With the theme ‘Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere’, this worldwide Kidney Day celebration is expected to be a tradition of a global awareness campaign that plays an important role in educating the public on the importance of kidney health, promoting prevention and early detection of kidney disease and to ensure universal health coverage in the treatment of kidney diseases.
Among the treatment for kidney disease is kidney transplant treatment. This method is considered the most effective CKD treatment in the long term despite high costs, requiring a team of specialists.
Alhamdulillah, the country is very fortunate that with the concern of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Bruneians can receive a good health coverage.
In 2013, the government through the Ministry of Health began providing kidney transplant services in Brunei. Seven kidney transplant treatments have been successfully held in the past six years.
Kidney donation in the patient’s family has seen an increase in recent years.
The ultimate goal of the World Kidney Day is to promote high quality healthcare and improve health equity across socio-economic segments by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable healthcare access. Each individual should also take part in adopting a healthy lifestyle such as staying active, not smoking and practising a healthy and balanced diet.
The Ministry of Health will continue to strive to achieve excellence in providing quality health services to all in line with the Brunei Vision 2035.