World Kidney Day raises awareness on the importance of the kidneys

The mission of the World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

This was revealed Thursday at the World Kidney Day commemoration at Rail Park Mall, Gaborone.

The event was held under the theme "Kidney Disease and Children, Act Early to Prevent It" with the objectives of taking the awareness of kidney diseases to another level, to encourage people to continue to exercise and eat well, to encourage people to understand that kidney disease starts from a young age and also to encourage people to do screening for diabetes and hypotension which are normally risk factors of kidney disease.

Officially opening the event, the Assistant Minister of Health, Hon Dr Alfred Madigele said World Kidney Day started in 2006 and has not stopped growing ever since, saying it was a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

Madigele noted that all across the globe many hundred events take place with public screenings here in Gaborone to Zumba Marathons in Malaysia.

"We do it all to create awareness about preventative behaviors, awareness about risk factors and awareness about how to live with a kidney disease. We do this because we want kidney health for all," added Madigele.

He said, "This year we commemorate World Kidney Day under the theme "Kidney Disease and children, act early to prevent it". Kidney disease affects many millions of people worldwide, including many children who may be at risk at an early age. It is therefore crucial that we encourage and facilitate education, early detection and healthy lifestyle in children to fight the increase of preventable kidney diseases, and to treat children with inborn and acquired disorders of the kidneys worldwide."

Dr. Madigele said that kidney diseases are silent killers which largely affect the quality of life, however there are several easy ways to reduce the risk of the disease like not smoking, keeping fit, keeping regular control of the blood sugar level, monitoring the blood pressure, eating healthy and keeping the weight in check and also maintaining a healthy fluid intake, to mention but a few.

The Assistant Minister mentioned that on World Kidney Day they call on everyone to check if they are at risk for kidney disease and encourage preventative behaviors and also urged all in attendance to share the message on chronic kidney disease with their love ones and the community and also encouraged them to take advantage of the commemoration to learn more about chronic kidney disease for the betterment of their health.

He also encouraged all stakeholders to collaborate and empower communities on health issues to curb illnesses such as chronic kidney disease as together they can realize the nation's vision 2016.

Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) Superintendent, Dr Kelebogile Motumise said the commemoration is another effort by Princess Marina Hospital to raise awareness and educate the public about kidney diseases and also do screening of diabetes and hypotension as they are some of the risk factors of kidney disease.

"I believe everyone will use this opportunity to get themselves tested for kidney disease as well as diabetes and hypotension," added Motumise.

The Hospital Superintendent said "theme for this year is kidney diseases and children meaning that we should pay more focus on our children because as PMH we do see a lot of children with kidney disease."

World Kidney Day (WKD) is an annual global awareness and education event, held on the second Thursday in March. Every year, countless local, national and international events are organized by kidney charities, healthcare professionals, patient groups and individuals who want to make a difference.


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