In its effort to scale up awareness on kidney disease among children, the Kidney Research Foundation (KRF) has rolled out an initiative aimed at promoting healthy life styles among children in primary schools.
The initiative is equipping children with information that will help them identify signs of kidney disease in its early stages.
Currently, government spends millions of kwacha in treating Common Kidney Disease.
It has been estimated that haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis per patient are approximately $26,000 (about K17.4million) and $65,000 (about K43.6million) respectively, excluding staff costs and additional consumable supplies.
Responding to an emailed questionnaire on Thursday, KRF chief executive officer Lucy Msungeni said the initiative has been rolled out in Blantyre and they plan to scale it up to other districts.
“Research has shown that non communicable diseases (NCDs), usually emerge in middle age after long exposure to an unhealthy lifestyle involving tobacco use, a lack of regular physical activity, and consumption of diets rich in highly saturated fats, sugars, and salt.
“It therefore becomes expedient to expose children to kidney disease knowledge and conduct awareness of its prevention through adoption of healthy lifestyles whilst they are still very young,” she said.
Msungeni added that global evidence shows an increase in non communicable diseases.
“However, there is limited data that has indicated the exact prevalence in children. At KRF we are also proposing to conduct more research in the area to keep us well updated on the trends,” she said.
According to Msungeni, it is important to conduct research into the epidemiology of kidney disease in various population groups in Malawi to assist in directing policy towards control of the disease.
During her presentation at the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) 5th all inclusive stakeholders conference in Blantyre last month, Professor Moureen Chirwa of Prime Health Consulting and Services indicated that non communicable diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure and cancer constitute 28 percent of the country’s deaths.