World Kidney Day events planned

Kidney Disease is estimated to affect 10 per cent of the world’s population, leading to millions of deaths every year that could be prevented if the disease was diagnosed and treated early.

That’s why Dr. Fritz Hendricks, President of the Cayman Islands Kidney Foundation, hopes today’s World Kidney Day will help bring greater awareness to the disease, which is disproportionally prevalent throughout the Caribbean.

Mr. Hendricks will be joined by international and local health professionals for a series of events planned to mark the occasion. Key in the program is an open house event from 10 am to 11.30am at the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Dialysis Unit. Mr. Hendricks said the event will give the public a chance to learn more about chronic kidney disease and services provided at the Dialysis Unit.

Mr. Hendricks will also be joined by other health professionals for appearances on Rooster 101.9FM this morning and on Radio Cayman after 12.30pm.

The Kidney Foundation has also scheduled lectures on kidney disease today and tomorrow.

They will include a presentation at 2pm today from the Health Services Authority’s Dr. Iheonunekwu Nelson titled ‘stages of chronic kidney disease and its clinical implications’. It will be followed by a presentation from Mr. Hendricks about screening for early chronic kidney disease.

At 1.30pm Friday, Professor Everard Barton, founder of the Caribbean Institute of Kidney Diseases and a lecturer with the University of the West Indies, will make a presentation at St. Matthew’s University about screening for kidney disease and slowing down the disease’s progression.

In the coming months, Mr. Hendricks will be heading up a groundbreaking project to begin screening people in the Cayman Islands for kidney disease. St. Matthew’s University will also be involved in the project, which, if international experience is anything to go by, could save countless lives.

‘We have more than five million people worldwide with some form of chronic kidney disease,’ explained Dr. Hendricks. ‘But in 90 per cent of cases the disease remains undetected because there are no symptoms when chronic kidney disease is at an early stage.’

By the time people discover that they have the disease, it has often already progressed to severe renal failure, he continued.

‘That’s why it is so important to do these screenings – because people don’t feel it.’

If detected early, chronic kidney disease can be treated and sometimes stopped, he explained.

‘That’s why World Kidney Day is so important,’ he said. ‘People are often not aware of kidney disease.’

KIDNEY FACTFILE

  • 1 out of 10 adults has some form of kidney damage, but many problems go undiagnosed;
  • If diagnosed early, chronic kidney disease can be slowed down or even completely stopped;
  • People with chronic kidney disease are 10 times more likely than healthy individuals to die of heart attacks and strokes;
  • Every day our kidneys filter and clean 200 litres of blood – a quantity that would fill about 200 bottles or 20 buckets!

World Kidney Day is on March 13. For more information visit www.worldkidneyday.org

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