Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the authorities concerned to frame a national guideline for raising awareness as well as running preventive measures and ensure treatment facilities for the kidney patients, irrespective of their social background.
Kidney Awareness Monitoring and Prevention Society (KAMPS), a non-profit organisation, arranged the rally to mark World Kidney Day 2019, according to a press release.
Founder and President of KAMPS, also Chief Consultant and Head of Department of Nephrology, BRB Hospitals Limited, Prof Dr MA Samad led the rally that started from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and paraded adjoining areas including Dhaka University, Katabon and Jatiya Press Club.
Speakers suggested framing law so that kidneys from accidental and untimely deaths can be taken for transplants.
They said currently 200 to 250 transplants take place every year but it is possible to raise that number up to 1,500 to 2,000 through recovering kidneys from the dead.
In his keynote speech, Prof Dr MA Samad said globally 850 million people are affected by kidney disease. As per the WHO line-up, Bangladesh ranks 11th in terms of kidney disease, he added.
He said kidney diseases are spreading rapidly across the country. In Bangladesh more than 2 crore people are somehow affected by kidney disease. The treatment is so expensive that even 10 percent of the population cannot afford it, and as a result most of them lose their lives without treatment. At least 50 to 60 percent of kidney failures can be prevented through awareness, and regular screening is necessary, he said.
Dr Samad suggested regular physical exercise, keeping weight under control, giving up smoking and intake of raw salt etc. Terming high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes the main reasons for kidney disease, Dr Samad urged the government to provide medicines for the diseases free of cost to disadvantaged patients.
“As the treatment of kidney failure is very expensive, the ministries concerned should take initiatives to bring the poor patients under government subsidy and also under the coverage of health insurance,” Dr Samad added.