PESHAWAR, Feb 15 (APP): Unaware of being a victim of chronic kidney disease (CKD) for the last three years, Alam Khan (45) was rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) by his brothers after complaining about severe pain in his right kidney. The hospital’s staffers immediately put him on the stretcher and rushed him to CT scan and ultrasound laboratories for radiology tests on the advice of doctors.

“My brother was complaining about pain in his right kidney for the last three years that turned severe the other day, forcing us to immediately shift him to LRH,” said Sajid Khan, the elder brother of the patient while talking to APP on Wednesday.

Later, the doctors diagnosed him with CKD due to blockage of his ureters by the renal stones and advised for surgery. The stones have badly damaged the patient’s urinary bladder as well as kidneys. Prof. Dr. Sirzamin Khan, head of the Nephrology ward, at Govt Hospital Pabbi Nowshera said that CKD mostly developed by renal stones could prove fatal if not treated timely. He said that 10 percent of the world population has some form of kidney damage and about 850 million people were estimated to have kidney diseases, including CKD and AKI (acute kidney disease) due to unhealthy lifestyles. “CKD kills about 2.4 million people per year in the world, and is the sixth fastest-growing cause of death in the globe,” he said. While terming AKI an important driver of CKD, he said that AKI affected over 13 million people worldwide, and about 85 percent of the cases were found in low and middle-income countries, adding around 1.7 people were estimated to die annually because of AKI.Dr. Sirzamin said CKD, which was predicted to increase by 17 percent over the next decade, has been recognized by WHO and other organizations as a global public health issue. He said Pakistan was ranked eighth on the list of countries with a high rate of kidney diseases mostly of CKD, adding about 17 million people were suffering from such ailments in the country.”The major causes of CKD and AKI were late diagnosis, kidney stones, diabetes, and high blood pressure’ he said, adding consuming junk and low-quality food, self-medication or excessive use of medicine, low water intake, and obesity were other common reasons for such diseases.”

Dr. Sirzamin said many patients did not consider CKD, AKI, and kidney stones as serious ailments and mostly used homeopathic and self-medication for their treatment, thus damaging their vital life-saving organs that often leads to kidney failure and ultimately death. “The treatment of kidney failure is very expensive and such patients would either go for hemodialysis or kidney transplant while dialysis was short time cure.”

Dr. Riaz Hussain, the Institute of Kidney Diseases (IKD) Hayatabad Peshawar Deputy Director said Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital (NSKH) Swat had immensely helped reduced patients’ load at IKD, Lady Reading Hospital, and Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar. Before NSKH, he said that patients of the Malakand division were waiting for months for dialysis and kidney transplant and often go to Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi for the services by spending huge amounts.

Dr. Mumtaz Khan, Medical Superintendent, NSKH said Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital Swat was a great blessing for poor parents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially for the Malakand division. Except for kidney transplantation, he said NSKH’s was equipped with all medical, diagnostic, and surgical services for the patients around the clock. Besides free dialysis, nephrology, and urology operations, he said all the latest treatment procedures, including Percutaneous Lithotripsy (PCNL) being used to remove large kidney stones at NSKH, adding most of the patients were coming from merged tribal districts of Bajaur and Mohmand, Malakand division including Swat, Shangla, Buner, Kohistan, Batagram, Dir, Chitral besides Batagram, Hazara, and Mardan. He said an average of 500 patients per day were being examined at OPD, which “means that 15,000 patients per month and around 180,000 per year. The number of dialysis machines has been enhanced from 14 to 30 after an increase of patients in recent years.”

Dr Mumtaz said prior to NSKH, the patients of eight districts of Malakand division were visiting Peshawar and Islamabad for kidneys treatment and dialysis by spending their hard-earned money on CT scans, MRIs, X-Rays, operations, hotel stay, transport fare, etc.”The experts underlined the need for mass awareness regarding the adoption of healthy lifestyles, avoiding junk foods, and controlling blood pressure inevitable for the eradication of kidney diseases.

They advised aggressive screening and controlling of hypertension and diabetes, adoption of healthy lifestyles such as drinking clean water, exercising, healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and media awareness in masses imperative to become safe from CKD and AKI.

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