Chronic kidney diseases a cause for concern: Experts



New Delhi: Around ten per cent of Indian adult suffer from chronic kidney diseases and nearly two lakh patients require dialysis or kidney transplant, says medical experts on the occasion of Kidney Day today.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a group of kidney diseases and is a broad term which includes all degree of chronic kidney failure (CKF) including end stage kidney failure (ESKF).

"Around 10 per cent of adults in India suffer from chronic kidney disease and estimates is that nearly two lakh new cases of ESKF require dialysis or kidney transplant every year," says SK Agarwal, Head of Nephrology department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Many patients of CKD prematurely die of cardiovascular complications, Agarwal says, adding that diabetes and hypertension are responsible for more than 50 per cent cases of CKD.

Many so called cardiovascular deaths in patients with diabetes and hypertension are actually due to CKD, he says.

"Diabetes is the commonest cause of any new patient taken for dialysis and or kidney transplant. Only 5 to 10 per cent of all cases of ESKF in India are able to get some sort of dialysis or kidney transplant. Rest of 90 per cent die without getting any definite treatment for ESKF," says Agarwal.

Talking about government`s preparedness to deal with the disease, Agarwal says, "Present hospitals and professionals do not suffice for the present load of patients. More trained professionals are required with better hospital facilities and decrease in cost of treatment.

"The authorities do not give priority to CKD as compared to other non-communicable diseases. So, far more less attention is being given to CKD and its management," the nephrologist says, adding "there is huge gap between demand and supply and it needs government sincere efforts to bridge this gap".

He says, "prevention of kidney diseases and particularly CKD in India is the only option if we want to reduce the cost of therapy related to kidney diseases. Thus a coordinated approach to the problem is needed."

"A pertinent education and public awareness and community education strategy, is imperative in order to prepare students and health professionals to cope with the growing burden of kidney diseases. This is the major challenge to medical fraternity and practice in the 21st century," he adds.

Talking about the status of medical facilities available to patients with ESRF, Aseem Garg, founder Deep Chand Dialysis Centre and Kidney Clinic (DCDC) says, "About 90 per cent patients in India suffering from ESRF do not have access to dialysis and better medical facilities.

"ESRF is a stage where kidney stops functioning altogether and patient has to be put on dialysis or it has to go for a transplant. Normally, transplant procedure takes time to find the right donor and get the approvals. So dialysis is basically a process of arrangement taken to ensure that the patient survives long enough to get a transplant," he elaborates.

DCDC specialises in providing quality dialysis care to patients suffering from end stage renal disease (ESRD). The centre was started in 2009 with its first Stand Alone Dialysis Centre, one of the first ones for India, in West Delhi.

With emergence of chains of dialysis centres across India, the quality of service in this particular segment has improved drastically, says Garg.

"In terms of development of dialysis industry in the country, accesses to services part is increasing. Services are becoming more affordable. There are indicators from regulatory fund also as insurances have started covering dialysis and once the insurance rate increases more and more people would be able to go for dialysis under insurance plans," he says.

Taking about maintaining and following the best standards in dialysis industry, he says, "we need more and more dialysis professionals in this particular segment so that the ward boys and compounder are not found taking places of doctors in any of the health institutes."

PTI