BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS Nevisians joined the rest of the world to recognize today, March 12, World Kidney Day, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration Hazel Brandy said the day should be used to bring awareness to the role the organ plays.
During her speech, Minister Williams asserted that the day also provides an opportunity to encourage behaviours and reinforce practices of habits that can prevent the development of kidney disease, such as reducing salt intake and drinking adequate amounts of water.
Global figures point to an estimated one million deaths from the disease annually, and the minister highlighted that kidney diseases can develop for different reasons.
She, however, noted chronic non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are prevalent in the islands and account for majority of the local chronic kidney disease cases.
“Chronic kidney disease is the progressive loss of kidney function and, if not detected early, can lead to kidney failure. Usually there are no symptoms during the early stages. Therefore, screening for kidney impairment is of paramount importance in prevention, because when detected early, treatment can be provided to delay progression…
“Ideally, everyone should be informed of prevention strategies, receive screening and, where necessary, have access to care, regardless of socio-economic status, or geographical location. However, in some settings, services are not readily available and economic factors prevent access to care.
“Let me reassure you that the Ministry of Health on Nevis continues to work assiduously to ensure all of our citizens have access to the services available for prevention, early detection and treatment of kidney diseases, especially in our at risk groups,” explained the minister.
Community health services located throughout the island of Nevis, according to the minster, allows for easy access to screening through routine laboratory tests.
Those routine testing comes against the backdrop of the local government continuing to collaborate with the private sector entities to ensure that care is provided to those in need.