Acording to the World Health Organisation (WHO) almost 20 percent of diabetic patients die of kidney failure and that figure will double by 2030.
Speaking at the World Kidney Day commemorations in Gaborone yesterday, Princess Marina hospital deputy superintendent Dr Ishmael Makone said the increase of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity were a great concern in Botswana. “We should keep in mind that HIV/AIDS remains one of the compounding factors that increase the numbers of patients with kidney failure. Hypertension and diabetes are the major contributors of chronic kidney disease in our setting,” he explained.
Makone futher said in recent years, the increases of these diseases in both the developed and developing world including Botswana has not been spared of increase. He added that patients with kidney failure could be helped in many ways like for instance, at Marina those with severe kidney failure or end stage kidney failure could be offered dialysis in the form of peritoneal dialysis or haemodialysis. Makone also said peritoneal dialysis was initiated in the hospital and continued at home where feasible whilst haemodialysis was provided in hospitals through the Public Private Partnership initiative. “Currently we have more than 300 patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing in PMH where one third is being on peritoneal dialysis and the remaining two thirds being on haemodialysis.
We should also keep in mind that HIV/AIDS still remains one of the compounding factors that increase the numbers of patients with kidney failure. Hypertension and diabetes are the major contributors of chronic kidney disease in our setting,” he said.
He further said as of last year the Ministry of Health (MoH) established an organ transplant unit, which was currently based at Marina. He added that the unit was a multidisciplinary team that comprises of doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, and social workers. Makone stated that three patients had undergone kidney and liver transplants outside the country under the government programme. “We have to keep in mind that treatment of end stage kidney disease by different modes of dialysis and transplant is very expensive and unsustainable in our setting. Screening and removal of other factors that can cause kidney failure is the best option,” he said.
Guest of honour at the event, former president Ketumile Masire encouraged attendees to visit health posts for regular check-ups and screening, adding that if detected early, chronic kidney disease could be treated. “This would reduce other complications and dramatically decrease the growing burden of deaths and disability from chronic renal and cardiovascular disease worldwide. I would like to urge everyone present here today to know that chronic kidney disease is preventable and controllable,” he said. Masire added that kidney diseases could be prevented if people kept fit through regular exercise, maintained normal weight, ate healthy food and drank adequate amount of water daily.