1 in every 7 persons in Fiji has Chronic Kidney Disease - Dr Tudravu

1 in every 7 persons in Fiji has Chronic Kidney Disease - Dr Tudravu

By Alipate Narawa
Thursday 14/03/2024
Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr Jemesa Tudravu

1 in every 7 persons in Fiji has Chronic Kidney Disease.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr Jemesa Tudravu highlighted this at the World Kidney Day celebrations at the Fiji National Kidney Centre in Nadera.

Dr Tudravu says Chronic Kidney Disease is a severe illness that causes a gradual loss of kidney function, leading to various complications, including high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, and kidney failure.

He says its symptoms may be subtle or even absent in the early stages, leading to the disease often going unnoticed.

With symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, dry and itchy skin, muscle cramps, lower limb swelling, shortness of breath, and urinating too little or too much are seen as kidney disease progresses.

He says the causes of Chronic Kidney Disease are varied and can include genetic factors, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain infections.

The Permanent Secretary also says unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, and a sedentary lifestyle contribute significantly to the development of this disease.

He says Chronic Kidney Disease is a crucial health issue that is exerting a profound impact on individuals and families, healthcare systems, the society, and the economy as well.

Dr Tudravu says the annual incidence of stage 5 chronic kidney disease in Fiji is high and estimated to range from 753 to 938 per million population, which is four to five times higher than that of nearby Australia in 2013.

Chronic Kidney Disease is the fifth leading cause of years of life lost in Fiji, and it is a crucial risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with a higher risk of cardiac death compared to individuals without it.

Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease require frequent dialysis treatments or even kidney transplants to survive.

Dr Tudravu says unfortunately, less than 10 percent of adults with Chronic Kidney Disease are aware of their diagnosis, leading to missed opportunities for disease management.

He says this is a serious concern that needs urgent actions.

The Permanent Secretary says early detection and appropriate management can reduce the decline in kidney function by up to 50 percent and may even be reversible.

He is reminding us all to focus on the prevention of NCDs and getting regular health check-ups to to detect these diseases at their early stages.

The theme for World Kidney Day this year is ‘Health for All - Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice’.

Dr Tudravu says it is time to come together and make a significant difference in the lives of the millions of people living with Chronic Kidney Disease and prevent future generations from experiencing its devastating effects.

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