DAVAO CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) and several medical institutions and organizations have launched activities to celebrate with the National Kidney Month.

In line with the theme, “Batong inaalagaan, habangbuhay nating kayamanan”, the activities’ objectives are more centered on the prevention of kidney diseases since a lot of patients are undergoing dialysis.

Dr. Ma. Theresa Lorenzo – Bad-ang, the medical director of the DMSF (Davao Medical Society Foundation) Dialysis Center said that major diseases are just several reasons for renal failure.

Bad-ang cited studies showing that diabetes is the leading reason for renal failure.

“45 percent of the population have this disease,” Bad-ang said adding that hypertension comes in second and 25 percent of the population have it.

“23,000 patients in the Philippines have undergone dialysis, and many of these patients have survived because of this,” she added.

Bad-ang also said that there was an increase of the dialysis survival rate as it was compared before.

“In 1998, there is only 53 percent dialysis survival rate among the patients. But in 2010, the survival rate has increased up to 81 percent, which is a big figure for us,” she said.

She attributed the increase to the big improvements and changes that the medical institutions have offered.

“With the brand-new technological innovations for dialysis treatments and better services, we can say that the increase of the survival rate has to do with these factors,” she said.

“We also attribute the increase through the help of PhilHealth for the medical expenses in the dialysis treatments for the kidney patients, which is a big help for these patients,” she added.

However, Bad-ang said that kidney transplants have a greater survival rate than those of dialysis, which extends up to five years.

“If the survival rate of dialysis is 81 percent, the survival rate of doing a kidney transplant is up to 95-98 percent, which means that it is more advisable and we promote kidney transplant instead of dialysis,” she said.

“The cost of payment in dialysis is much more expensive than doing a kidney transplant since you have to maintain constant dialysis and medication in order to survive whereas in a kidney transplant, you don’t have to do a dialysis anymore, you just have to maintain a medication,” she added.

Through their advocacy in preventing kidney diseases and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, DOH have partnered with several medical institutions such as the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), San Pedro College, University of Mindanao, Davao Medical School Foundation, La Vie Dialysis Center, Nephrology Center of St. Alexus (NCSA), and other medical institutions.

The Kidney Month Celebration will be held in different provinces and cities in Mindanao, including Compostela Valley Province on June 23, Davao Del Norte on June 24, Davao Oriental on June 25, and in Davao Del Sur on June 26. (davaotoday.com)

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