World Kidney Day 2018


Dr Lilieth Johnson-Whittaker, CEO of Sunshine Dialysis Centre Ltd, stated that her 27year old organization has always been a staunch supporter of the World Kidney Day campaign since its inception in 2006. “We share the commitment to raise public awareness about Kidney Disease and empower the public, Government and regulatory authorities to take action to detect kidney disease early, treat appropriately and prevent or slow progression to the more severe forms which require dialysis or transplantation”, she said.

The concept of a World Kidney Day Campaign was initiated by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) to raise public awareness about kidney disease which is prevalent, harmful and treatable. This year, the day falls on International Women’s Day. It is not surprising then, that this year, the theme of World Kidney Day is ‘Kidneys and Women’s Health’.  Dr Johnson-Whittaker said that she could not be more excited about the theme and focus of the campaign to include, value and empower women.

Worldwide there are more than 195 million women living with Kidney disease and more than 600,000 women die annually from it. Women also have a slightly higher incidence of kidney disease than men, 14% compared to 12%.  Additionally, they have some risk factors that are gender specific. These include conditions associated with pregnancy and childbirth, for example, Eclampsia and severe Preeclampsia as well as auto immune diseases like SLE that disproportionately affects women 10 to 1. A worrying trend is that the prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease, (CKD) is rising among women and may affect up to 3% of women in their childbearing age. Moreover, pregnant women who have CKD are at increased risk of negative health outcomes for both mother and the baby.

Despite this increased predilection for CKD, access to dialysis and transplantation appear to be unequal as there are more men than there are women on these programmes.

Today, she encourages women to be aware of how amazing their kidneys are and how important to their health; to identify if they are at risk for kidney disease and to get tested today if they are at risk.  Smoking cessation, reduction of salt intake, maintenance of hydration, control of hypertension and diabetes which are the leading causes CKD, avoidance of obesity, exercise and adoption of a healthy diet and life style are all emphasized to promote kidney health.  Certain kinds of medications typically used to treat arthritis and other painful conditions called NSAIDS can also damage the kidneys and their prolonged use should be avoided.

Sisters, you are at risk of having kidney disease if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes Mellitus or sugar
  • Hypertension
  • Eclampsia or Preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Autoimmune Disease like Lupus or SLE
  • Repeated urinary tract infections or Kidney stones
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Repeated tests showing blood or albumin in the urine.
  • Getting older , Female >60
  • Sickle Cell Anaemia

Tests include a urine test for a type of protein called albumin and a blood test to measure serum creatinine. This measurement is used to calculate your GFR, which reflects the percentage of kidney function that is present.

Screening will promote early detection, timely treatment to slow the rate of progression, reduce complications and improve the quality of life of persons with CKD.

“If you are at risk, please get tested today”, she urged.