PUNE: This World Kidney Day, the Indian Society of Nephrology (ISN), the largest professional organization of nephrologists in India dedicated to advancing kidney health worldwide, and AstraZeneca, a science-led biopharmaceutical company, announced a multi-year partnership to create public awareness about kidney care and related health disorders, build education at primary care physician level on early diagnosis, prompt management and aid nationwide screening for at-risk patients and the general public to promote timely detection and holistic management.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) today has become a major cause of global mortality and morbidity. In India, the most common cause of CKD is diabetic nephropathy. Studies estimate that the number of patients diagnosed with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) in India, who are either on dialysis or scheduled for transplantation is over 100,000 per year. It is also estimated that 9 out of 10 patients may not even know that they suffer from a kidney ailment.
Under this year’s theme of ‘Kidney Health For All’, ISN along with AstraZeneca aims to generate large-scale awareness and educate people about ways to improve kidney health. As a part of this partnership, AstraZeneca under close guidance from ISN will facilitate ‘Project SEARCH’-a a mass screening program for early diagnosis of CKD in diabetic or hypertensive patients who are at high risk of kidney damage. This campaign will be conducted at over 2000 physician clinics over a period of one month at multiple locations across the country and is expected to reach out to 2.4 lac patients. The society has nominated top nephrologists of the country as regional coordinators to provide the requisite scientific support and mentorship to participating physicians.
ISN will also spearhead the analysis of the collected data that can be used to change the practice and influence policymakers. Dr. AK Bhalla, President-Indian Society of nephrology and Chairman, Department of Nephrology at Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi said,
“As per the India Chronic Kidney Disease registry results that were published recently by our group, there is a 38% increase in the proportion of deaths attributable to kidney failure between 2001–03 and 2010–13. This alarming statistic shows that there is a gap in the awareness, early identification, and management of the disease. The Indian Society of Nephrology has been constantly working towards increasing the awareness levels among the general public about kidney-related diseases as well as providing support to physicians through training and diagnostic support. And we feel that this partnership with AstraZeneca will enhance our efforts towards better kidney care in India”.
To bring down the overall burden of kidney diseases on our health systems, this partnership will also focus upon undertaking certificate programs by the country’s top 30 nephrologists for about 1000 primary care physicians through three interactive modules. These will point towards deep education on key signs for early diagnosis, awareness and management strategies, and relevant points of interventions.
Dr. ShrutiTapiawala, Honorary Secretary-Indian Society of Nephrology, West Zone Chapter currently working as Consultant Nephrologist & Renal Transplant Physician, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai said,
“We require to live a healthy lifestyle with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and regular exercises. Every diabetic and hypertensive should be educated to keep strict sugar and blood pressure control, monitor kidney health every 6 months with help of serum creatinine, urine spot microalbumin: creatinine ratio, and HBA1c. This will help us prevent kidney disease”.
Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Anil Kukreja, VP- Regulatory and Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca India, said,
“Chronic Kidney Disease in simple terms means that kidneys do not work at their full capacity which if ignored can lead to renal complications and sometimes failure. Our partnership with ISN is a firm step towards collaboratively reducing CKD-related mortality and morbidity rate through patient & HCP education and improving kidney health for all. Under the aegis of ISN, we will be able to impart right education amongst public so that they understand that early detection is really crucial to slow down the progression to improve long term health outcomes”.
Lastly, these activities will be complemented by a robust social media presence in form of Facebook live awareness sessions by prominent nephrologists on various aspects of CKD, which is expected to impart knowledge to millions of community members at large. This session will be available for the public to log in and connect with these experts from 7 pm-8 pm every day between March 14 to March 22 at facebook.com/BeyondSugarIN
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