At SKIMS alone, 7200 kidney patients sought treatment in 2016 compared to 3000 in 2013
By Nusrat Sidiq
Srinagar: Kidney disorders have surged to alarming levels in Kashmir, with an average of 20 patients of renal failure received daily at SKIMS hospital. Compared to 3000 such patients that the hospital received in the year 2013, there were 7200 patients in the year 2016. And that is just one hospital. The increase in renal disorders is across all age groups, patients as young as 10-year-olds having been received at SKIMS, nephrologist Dr Muzaffar Wani told Reader.
The increase is attributed to changing eating habits, high salted foods, junk food, and also, stress. Patients with high blood pressure are more prone to kidney failure, as are diabetics.
“The situation could be more serious if we had figures from all the allied health care facilities in the Valley,” Dr Muzaffar said.
Another doctor at the department, Dr Ashraf Bhat, said that Kashmir had become a home of hypertension patients. Every family has one or two hypertension patients, he said, which means that there is a risk of kidney disorders in every family. “The need is to control hypertension and diabetes, and then we can control renal failures,” Dr Bhat said.
Medical experts are of the view that more patients die due to renal disorders annually than from cancer or tumours. The best way to prevent renal disorders is to create awareness about their causes and the preventive measures that can be taken. Controlling blood pressure and blood sugar is the main precaution.
Doctors are worried about renal disorders affecting children, because of the new sedentary lifestyle and junk food habits. Mismanagement of diarrhoea can also result in renal failure.
One patient admitted at SKIMS is 14-year-old Salma Chauhan, a resident of Mattan-Seer in Islamabad. Both her kidneys have failed. Doctors say that the only treatment for such patients is frequent dialysis. For Salma, dialysis has to be carried out twice in a week. It is a financial burden for her poor family.
Salma was diagnosed with kidney failure when she had fever and diarrhoea for four months. She was 12 years old at that time. Since then, the kid has been on dialysis.
“We never had this kind of disease in our family. It really has taken a toll on us. We have to go Ahmed’s Hospital Nowgam fordialysis costing Rs 7,000 per week. We have no other option,” sighed Mohammad Iqbal, father of Salma.
Mohammad Ismail, uncle of Salma, said, “We are poor but still we are managing to arrange money for her treatment. Otherwise, she won’t survive.”
Medical experts have been crying out for the urgent need to set up more dialysis units in Kashmir. Dr Ashraf Bhat said, “There is a need of at least 1,000 dialysis units in Kashmir. Unfortunately, we don’t have even 100. At SKIMS we have 20 dialysis machines where every day 10-15 dialysis are carried out. It is not sufficient for the number of patients there are.”
Medical Superintendent of SKIMS Dr Syed Amin Tabish said, “Though we receive many renal disorder patients, the preference is given to the most critical patients. We are procuring more machines, Inshallah, to cater to the needs of all patients.”