Renal diseases in C. Visayas on the rise
CEBU CITY, June 13 (PIA) -- Incidence of kidney diseases is on the rise in Central Visayas, even as medical renal experts here claimed that data on renal cases in the region are underreported.
Dr. John Li, a private nephrologist, said the data given by the Department of Health (DOH) 7 of 514 patients undergoing dialysis treatment in 2010 taken from the Primary Renal Disease is "too low."
Li said the data perhaps only reflected those patients with permanent residence and does not include transient dialysis patients.
â€śI receive an average of 10 to 20 patients a day and half of them really have renal problems. And more than 50 percent cannot afford regular dialysis treatment,â€ť said Li during this morningâ€™s Kapihan sa PIA that featured the observance of June as National Kidney Month.
Per session of dialysis treatment in a private hospital is said to cost between P3,000 to P4,000 while a patient with end-stage renal disease requires three times a week treatment, bared Li.
â€śLack of money is basically the reason why renal patients do not seek dialysis or either drop out from regular dialysis sessions or only dialyze one to two times instead of three times a week,â€ť said Li.
Renal transplant surgeon Dr. Alvin Roxas of the government-manned Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) also believed that the data is underreported.
â€śWhen I started five to six years ago, there were already 4,000 new dialysis patients then. Year in, year out the number of patients needing dialysis is growing. In fact, at VSMMC we do four shifts instead of the usual two shifts because of the growing number of patients,â€ť disclosed Roxas.
Roxas also said one indicator that supports the trend of rising renal cases is the sprouting dialysis centers in Cebu City.
DOH 7 Regional Director Asuncion Anden in the same forum said there are 514 dialysis patients in Central Visayas in 2010. Of the figure, 290 patients were from Cebu followed by 108 from Bohol, 37 in Negros Oriental and two in Siquijor with a total of 329 patients from Region 7 while the remaining 185 patients were from other provinces.
Anden said the same number is more or less recorded for 2009 while they do not have the data yet for 2011.
The DOH-7 chief admitted that there is no system-based data on the exact figure of patients undergoing dialysis and that this is something that needs to be addressed in order to have the real situationer on incidence of renal diseases in Central Visayas.
Li and Roxas, however, said that what is more important is to focus on disease prevention. Both doctors trained at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).
â€śWe should focus more on how to prevent developing kidney disease rather than the correct data because we want to promote quality and productive life,â€ť said Li.
Roxas on the other hand, urged the public to undergo annual urinalysis for early detection of kidney dysfunction. This should be done at least once a year. he said. "Do it as a birthday gift to yourself,â€ť said Roxas. Urinalysis costs around P60 here, he said.
The DOH-7 meanwhile, has lined up several forums this month on kidney disease prevention particularly to public health workers in celebration of June as National Kidney Month. (PIA-Cebu)
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