CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – JUNIOR Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams said that the prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is expected to increase due to the Federation’s life expectancy.
The Minister made the comment as the Federation joined the rest of the world in recognising March 14 as World Kidney Day.
While explaining the correlation among kidney disease, hypertension and diabetes – the most common cases of the diseases - the Junior Minister disclosed that the Public Health Centers on Nevis have recorded 473 diabetic and 522 hypertensive cases.
Those cases, she noted, are expected to continue to climb due to the high prevalence of obesity, hypertension and diabetes in the general population.
“Chronic Kidney Diseases are not curable and can trigger a myriad of other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes, which may lead to premature death or life long disabilities. Our best hope for reducing the human and socio-economic cost associated with this epidemic therefore lies in prevention,” Brandy-Williams said.
In recent years, St. Kitts and Nevis has seen increasing numbers of persons coming down with non-communicable diseases within which kidney disease is classified.
With health officials in twin-island Federation set to implement the long-promised Universal Health Insurance Scheme, dealing with the problem could be a challenge.
Minister Brandy-Williams noted that the increasing incidence and prevalence of kidney disease and the cost associated with treating the public health epidemic weighs heavily on healthcare budgets globally.
She disclosed that it is estimated that 850 million people worldwide are affected with kidney disease, to which Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) causes at least 2.4 million deaths each year and is now ranked as the sixth leading cause of death worldwide.
She however pointed out that many types of kidney diseases could be prevented, delayed and or kept under control if appropriate prevention measures are in place.
This year’s theme for World Kidney Day is: “Kidney Health for Everyone”.