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Zimbabwe commemorates Kidney Day

Every second Thursday of March the world celebrates World Kidney Day and this year’s theme is ‘Kidney disease and obesity’.

Zimbabwe records 1 000 cases of kidney failure every year with only 700 accessing dialysis as a number of people cannot afford the lifesaving services. Kidney diseases are chronic and non-communicable. Kidney disease is also a silent killer, which largely affect the quality of life. About half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage. Hence it is important to keep control of blood sugar level

Ten percent of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is the third most rapidly increasing cause of global mortality. Worldwide, five million people are expected to be on dialysis by 2030 and the commemorations help in raising awareness of the condition.

Chronic kidney disease is increasingly being recognized as an important area of non-communicable diseases due to its strong association with cardiovascular disease and its relation to diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The ultimate solution to kidney failure is kidney transplant and Government identified Chitungwiza Central Hospital for that. In Zimbabwe, kidney transplants are expected to resume soon, since abandonment in 1992. Mr. L Sibanda, Kidney Association of Zimbabwe Chairperson was a victim of kidney failure and is a victor and a source of inspiration in Zimbabwe He urged the nation to get screened and get treatment early. He explained that having the chronic disease is not the end of the world. At the same time he empathized and sympathized with kidney patients and their family. Mr Sibanda also urged the nation to donate kidneys or money to help the Kidney Association in Zimbabwe

World Health Organization representative Dr David Okello explained the pivotal role played by kidneys in the human body.

“Our kidneys are vital for life, supporting the elimination of toxins and excess water from our bodies as well as controlling blood pressure, facilitating the production of red blood cells and keeping our bones healthy,” The only treatment for kidney ailment is dialysis. Dialysis is expensive in Zimbabwe with most hospitals charging about $80 per session, while private hospitals charge $240.A patient requires three sessions per week.

Eating healthy and keeping your weight in check can help you prevent diabetes and other conditions associated with Chronic Kidney disease. It is always wise to reduce salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day. Do not add salt to food. Dr. Okello, World Health Organization representative warned Zimbabwean to desist from the habit of adding salt to cooked food before and after they test it.

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