The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - At least one Filipino dies every hour from kidney failure which ranks as the 9th leading cause of death among Filipinos.
Dr. Aileen Javier, executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), a government tertiary specialty center for patients with kidney diseases for the past 30 years, said people with kidney failure need to undergo dialysis or renal replacement therapy, or kidney transplantation, otherwise they will surely die.
"Each year an estimated 120 Filipinos per million population (PMP) develop kidney failure or about 10,000 needed kidney replacement each year, rising 10 percent annually, said Javier during a media forum last Friday sponsored by the Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City.
The forum is part of the month-long celebration campaign or Kidney Month to raise public awareness and the importance of kidney care,with this year's theme "Ikaw at Ako, Panalo sa Malusog na Bato".
"Unfortunately, in 2010 only 9,765 patients who were diagnosed with kidney failure received treatment by either starting dialysis (n=9716) or received kidney transplant (n=49) without going through dialysis", said Javier.
In 2010, about 11,280 patients were expected to start dialysis but based on a report from the Philippine Renal Disease Registry Annual Report for 2011, only 9,765 received treatment, thus, 14 percent or 1,579 patients newly diagnosed with end stage renal disease just died without receiving any treatment in 2010, she said.
"How many of you have diabetes and high blood pressure or have relatives who do? You are at risk for the development of kidney disease," Javier said, noting leading cause of kidney failure in the country is diabetes (44.6 percent), followed by high blood pressure (23.6 percent), and inflammation of kidneys (19.3 percent).
Javier said these patients were primarily between the ages of 51 to 60 years in a quarter of patients, followed by ages 61 to 70 years in 22 percent of cases.
On renal care prevention and health care, Javier encourages people to have a regular urinalysis check-up noting that the disease is really treacherous that "you can go around not knowing that you have disease," she said.
And most important for people is simple lifestyle which include: limiting salt in diet, drinking plenty of water, maintaining normal weight, and exercising daily for 30 minutes to keep the kidneys in good condition.
"A good diet na hindi siya masyadong fatty at salty kase it can lead to high cholesterol and to hypertension, Javier said, adding people should also "avoid masyadong sugary diets kasama na rin iyong kulang daw tayo sa physical activity".
"Kulang tayo ng exercise, and of course we need to drink lots of water kase we get dehydrated, and sometimes our diet can have too much salt,and very often you end up with renal stone," Javier explained.
She noted likewise that the NKTI is the forefront in leading the nation's healthcare for patients with kidney and urologic diseases, kidney failure and kidney transplantation, with the institute performing about 300 kidney transplants each year.
Asked on the cost of kidney transplantation in the country, Javier estimated about P600,000 up to one million pesos, and usually done with a donor from the patient's family.
"It is accepted that kidney transplation is the best treatment for kidney failure because it provides the longest survival and the best quality of life," said Javier.
But while transplantation is the best treatment for the disease, only 500 Filipinos received kidney transplant each year,"Javier said.