‘Kidney transplants better than undergoing dialysis’

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds


A KIDNEY transplant is the best option for most kidney failure patients, according to a health professional.

“In most cases, a kidney transplant is always better than being on dialysis. But obviously, not everyone will be suitable,” said Associate Professor Dr Jackson Tan from the Renal Services Department at the Ministry of Health.

“If you have a successful kidney transplant, then potentially, life expectancy can be increased and you’ll have a better quality of life.”

Brunei marks World Kidney Day today, which is observed globally on the second Thursday of March every year to educate the public on early detection and practising a healthy lifestyle to combat the increase of preventable kidney damage.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of World Kidney Day and carries the theme “Kidney Disease and Children” to remind us to think about our kidneys from an early age and that much adult renal disease is actually initiated in childhood, according to a statement published on the World Kidney Day website.

In Brunei, according to statistics from the Renal Services Department, the number of end-stage renal disease patients as of June 2015 stood at 694. Of this, 593 have undergone haemodialysis treatment, 58 were under peritoneal dialysis and 43 underwent transplants.

In 2014, the government spent $15.1 million on dialysis treatment and $8 million on medication.

Last year, Brunei was looking to do more kidney transplants to curb the rising cost of dialysis treatment.

According to the statement published on the World Kidney Day website, 10% of the population worldwide has some form of kidney damage. The latest numbers show that chronic kidney disease is predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade and is now recognised by the World Health Organization and other organisations as a global public health issue.

The statement said kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions.

The leading causes of kidney failure in children are hereditary conditions that often lack obvious indicators such as haematuria (red blood cells in the urine), hypertension (high blood pressure) or oedema (swelling). Additionally, kidney disease that becomes evident in adults may occur more often in people with risk factors that can be detected in childhood.

Keeping fit reduces high blood pressure and obesity - two of the leading causes of kidney disease, according to the statement.

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.

The Brunei Times