HMC holds Walkathon to mark World Kidney Day

March 10, 2012 - 12:03:12 am


By Huda NV

DOHA: A message of hope went out for high number of people, here waiting for kidney transplants with a walkathon organised by Hamad Medical Corporation, yesterday, to mark World Kidney Day on March 8. The theme of the celebrations this year focuses on the positive outcome of kidney transplantation and the life-saving aspect of organ donation. The slogan for this year’s campaign is Donate - Kidneys for Life - Receive.

Celebrated globally each year on the second Thursday of March, World Kidney Day (WKD) offers a crucial, visible opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys for overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

“The World Kidney Day is being observed in more than 100 countries across the world each year to raise awareness about kidney diseases and its risk factors, as well as to raise awareness about the importance of kidney transplantation as the best way to treat kidney failure. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is on the rise all over the world, and it is very important to know the risk factors,” said Dr Ihab El Madhoun, senior consultant nephrologist at Al Wakrah Hospital.

CKD is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The most common, but not only, causes of CKD are hypertension and diabetes. The presence of CKD is associated with a large increase in cardiovascular (CV) risk. Consequently, the identification and reduction of CKD has become a vital public health priority.

The loss of kidney function usually takes months or years to occur. It may be so slow that symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal. Then, the kidneys are no longer able to remove enough wastes and excess fluids from the body. The patient needs dialysis or a kidney transplant.

With some 120 patients fit for transplants waiting for donors, here, the importance of organ donation and organ transplant was highlighted at the walkathon, yesterday. The walkathon that started near the Oryx statue at the Corniche ended at the Heritage Village, where in various events were held as part of campaign. “We have run a month-long campaign at the Hamad General Hospital OPD from February 6 to raise awareness about organ donation. We were able to get about 70 donors who have committed to donate organs after death. We hope to have more such donors in today’s event,” said Sahar Burhan, transplant coordinator at the HMC.

Apart from the walkathon, HMC is organising a series of lectures in different HMC hospitals to raise awareness about CKD, as part of World Kidney Day campaign. Today, a symposium on organ transplants will be held at the HMC Medical Education Centre featuring local and regional speakers. Another symposium highlighting the different modalities of treatment for dialysis in children, will be held next week.The Peninsula