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Caring While Curing – World Kidney Day 2021

Wondering what these percentages in Sri Lanka reveal? 

Well, it’s not just some ordinary statistics that you and I hear daily these days. Yet, some numbers which highly need our concern!

The above demographic representation shows the percentage of households in the relevant districts with at least one member with Chronic Kidney Disease between the years 2009 – 2018 as shown in research published in 2019.

Kidneys are as precious as your life…

As per the view of the many, our two kidneys may seem to be just two small bean-shaped organs that are there to pass waste and toxins from our body. Yet, that small function interrelates numerous other activities that keep our body balanced. A bit of a self-research on these two small organs will be truly worth it and would make you more conscious of the healthiness of your kidneys.

Kidney disease is defined as any damage that occurs to the kidneys which affect its operation to keep our body healthy. It is mainly categorized as short-term (acute kidney injury) and lifelong (chronic) kidney disease. Acute kidney disease is a temporary loss of kidney function that would last only a few months and would cause no long term effects on the body. Meanwhile, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which has become one of the major health concerns relates to progressive kidney damage that could not be reversed most of the time. The most concerning fact about this disease in the current situation is that 10% of the world population is affected by CKD, and millions of people pass away each year due to the unaffordability of the treatments.

Sri Lanka in the face of CKD…

In Sri Lanka, the first CKD case was reported back in the ’90s and was recorded to be due to an unknown etymology which simply defines the cause to be a mystery. Few of the normal causes of CKD include diabetes, hypertension, kidney inflammation. Yet, ever since the past, Sri Lanka has been known for an unidentified cause of CKD. This has set the rate of CKD cases reported in the country in the rising trend over the years. Although in the past, North Central province was the epicentre of CKD, it has now been distributed over North-Western, Southern, Eastern and Uva Provinces as per the research findings. Since its past records, studies were conducted to find the possible causes behind this. Accordingly, various measures such as providing clean drinking water facilities, control measurers on pesticides, clinical check-ups and fundings for the rural areas are being planned by both governmental and non-governmantal entities.

‘Living well with Kidney Disease’

Today, we celebrate World Kidney Day 2021 under the theme “Living well with Kidney Disease”. With proper medication in place, a person suffering from CKD can lead a normal life. But, the challenges faced during this period, by patients and their care partners are immense. As much as they like to lead a normal life, the medication process can be overwhelming for them to bear along with their day to day activites. International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), the pioneers behind the World Kindey Day, have come up with this theme to give prominence to patient empowerment, partnership and improved communications to strengthen those affected by CKD and thus build the faith that they can live well with CKD.

Rotaract Alumni Mora in action…

Kindred Kidneys, the signature project by Rotaract Alumni Mora, is an effort in support of these kidney patients all around Sri Lanka. Throughout the years, the project has focused on raising awareness and supporting rural communities to overcome this disease. The first phase of the project for the year 2021 was launched as a series of videos raising awareness on kidney disease by joining hands with Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association.

Further, the project “Suwa Sawi” a sub-project under this massive effort was conducted on 6th March in celebration of World Kidney Day. The project aimed in supporting Samastha Lanka Kidney Patients Association in combatting the recent COVID – 19 pandemic by donating necessary sanitisation items and face masks. We at Rotaract Alumni Mora is ready to keep the next step of this worthy endeavour forward to reach out to rural communities and be a support mechanism for the lives of those suffering from CKD.

As we celebrate this day in support of all those fighting CKD around the globe, let’s not forget that as much as we ponder about a future without CKD, it’s time to think through the ways and means to support those who have already been victimised. Let’s strive together to care for CKD patients as they get cured to lead the life they’ve always wanted!

Related Links

  • Demographic statistics on the percentage of households in the relevant districts with at least one member with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) between the years 2009 – 2018 – Kafle, K., Balasubramanya, S., & Horbulyk, T. (2019). Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka: A profile of affected districts reliant on groundwater. Science of The Total Environment, 694, 133767.
  • Ranasinghe, A.V., Kumara, G.W.G.P., Karunarathna, R.H. et al. The incidence, prevalence and trends of Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain aetiology (CKDu) in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka: an analysis of 30,566 patients. BMC Nephrol 20, 338 (2019).

Written by: Rtr. Sithmi Lawanga

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