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Early screening key to combating chronic kidney disease, experts say

Health experts stress the importance of proactive kidney health measures.[Standard, File

Health experts have underscored the importance of early screening to combat chronic kidney disease.

The silent disease affects 10 percent of the adult population worldwide, with about 1.8 million people in the country at risk, according to the Ministry of Health.

Dr John Ngigi, a consultant physician and nephrologist at the Nairobi West Hospital, says the dangers of kidney disease infection can lead to disability or death if not treated early.

“Kidney disease is characterised by its long duration and progressive nature and is dubbed a silent killer due to its ability to lead to kidney failure and death because of its non-communicable nature,” says Ngigi.

Ngigi spoke during an event organised by the Ministry of Health at the Kenyatta National Hospital to observe World Kidney Day.

World Kidney Day is held on the second Thursday of March annually and aims to enhance global awareness of kidney health, emphasising the critical role kidneys play in overall health and striving to mitigate the prevalence and impact of kidney disease and its related health issues worldwide.

The theme for this year, “Kidney Health for All: Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice,” underscores the commitment to ensuring comprehensive kidney care is accessible to all.

The day began with a walk, led by Dr Gladwell Gathecha, the head of the Directorate of Non-communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health, commencing at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

At the same time, the Nairobi West Hospital offered free kidney check-ups and consultations with their specialists, highlighting its capabilities in providing top-tier care, including kidney transplants, a critical treatment for end-stage kidney disease.

The hospital has performed kidney transplants, aiming for a cost-effective option locally for patients who previously sought these services abroad.

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