Kidney Health: Know Why Is It Necessary For All

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Kidney Health: Know Why It Is Necessary For All

The challenges are substantial, and a joint effort between healthcare professions and public and private healthcare organizations is essential to improve equitable, evidence-based, and high-quality kidney health for all in India.

The impact of kidney disease at the individual and community levels within kidney health. We live in one of the most economically disparate countries in the world, where access to general medical care, high-quality subspecialty care, medications, dialysis, and kidney transplants is dictated by socioeconomic and geographical factors.

SEEK BMC Nephrol 2013

Accurate and updated information on the actual burden of kidney disease in the Indian population is not readily available.

  • It is estimated that about one in five patients in India has Chronic Kidney Disease (SEEK BMC Nephro 2013). Screening for CKD can significantly impact early diagnosis and management, especially since kidney disease often remains asymptomatic until late stages. Early detection can allow for the implementation of therapeutic measures to slow the progression to End-Stage Kidney Disease the level at which kidney replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplant, needs to be initiated.
  • These treatment options require higher medical care – access to Nephrologists, surgeons, and other subspecialists, well-trained nurses/technicians, and sophisticated medical infrastructure to safely and comprehensively manage patients. And, of course, higher-level care translates to more significant healthcare costs for the patient and the community.
  • Over the last several years, with the introduction of the Ayushman Bharath scheme, National Dialysis Program, and several other state and federal level initiatives, the government has made strides in promoting preventative care for chronic medical conditions and increasing access to higher-level healthcare for the poorer segment of the population.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Ensuring good quality care, increasing awareness about kidney disease, and providing access to those living in rural areas are still a challenge.

  • Roughly two-thirds of India’s population resides in rural areas, whereas doctors, dialysis centres, and hospitals are primarily concentrated in larger cities. This means that a patient living in a small village may have to travel great distances to get to a hemodialysis session, a life-sustaining measure that must be done two to three times a week. Missing sessions can result in severe medical conditions and even death.
  • Peritoneal dialysis, a simple home dialysis modality that requires minimal infrastructure through patient and clinical education, can help bridge the disparity in dialysis access and should be promoted more aggressively in India. Remote monitoring and telemedicine may also increase access to speciality care for rurally located patients. Regular outreach health camps and educational initiatives for patients and healthcare staff on early detection, which lead to CKD, are required to raise awareness about CKD.

The challenges are substantial, and a joint effort between healthcare professions and public and private healthcare organizations is essential to improve equitable, evidence-based, and high-quality kidney health for all in India.(This article has been verified by Dr Pallavi Patri, Consultant – Chief of Nephrology, Manipal Hospital Sarjapur)



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