The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs on Nevis on the occasion of World Kidney Day, 2022.
The World Kidney Day Joint Steering Committee has declared 2022 the year of “Kidney Health for All.” World Kidney Day which is celebrated on March 10th annually, aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. This year’s campaign focuses on bridging the knowledge gaps to improve kidney health through increased education and awareness about kidney health.
Chronic kidney disease is a worldwide health crisis. It is estimated that there are more than 850 million people who suffer from some form of kidney disease, with more than 38 million deaths worldwide. It is evident that more emphasis must be placed on ways to reduce the incidence of kidney disease and the progression to dialysis, through education and increased awareness of kidney health.
Our kidneys play a vital role in our overall health and wellness. Understanding the role and function of our kidneys can help to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems on our population. Patients living with chronic kidney disease also report lower quality of life compared with the general population. They have to make day-to-day decisions about how to manage their conditions which presents not only physical stress but emotional and financial stress as well.
Here on Nevis we continue to see more and more of our people presenting with end stage kidney disease. As a consequence of this, the Ministry of Health is presently assisting a number persons ranging from age 33 to 74 years with dialysis treatment.
We continue to educate persons that a simple way of identifying and preventing potential health problems is through screening. Chronic kidney disease can be treated. With early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to slow or stop the progression of kidney disease. We encourage you to get your kidneys checked if you have one or more of the following high risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity or a family history of kidney disease. The earlier you know you have it, the better your chances of receiving effective treatment to combat high morbidity and mortality rates.
It is also recommended that engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day combined with a healthy diet, and drinking lots of water can help you to improve or maintain your kidney health.
The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs has been pleased to partner with the Nevis Renal Society to host educational sessions and screening activities over the years. I must commend this organisation for its continued partnership. They have demonstrated their commitment to all aspects of renal health over the last 20 plus years.
We invite you to take part in our World Kidney Day mobile health screening conducted by the Health Promotion Unit and the Taiwanese ICDF on March 10th at the Cotton Ginnery Mall from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs stands resolute in promoting “Kidney Health for All.”
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