Dr Noor Hisham: Up to 15% of Malaysians Have Chronic Kidney Diseases

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The Health Ministry has expressed concern over the rising number of Malaysians with chronic kidney diseases, which has reached 15 percent of the country’s population.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said as the country spares no effort to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, treatment for people suffering from other illnesses and diseases, including chronic kidney disease, remains a priority to the ministry.

“A survey showed 15 percent of the country’s population are suffering from chronic kidney diseases of different stages.

“What is more worrying is that a majority of these patients did not realise that they are suffering from kidney failure.

“This is because symptoms related to the disease will not be apparent during early stages of the disease. The symptoms will only become apparent when the disease has reached a serious (critical) stage,” said Dr Noor Hisham in his speech at the launching ceremony of the MyBuahPinggang website, today.

The Health director-general delivered his speech virtually during the ceremony, which was conducted in a hybrid manner, in line with standard operating procedures (SOP) during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

The website at www.mybuahpinggang.com, which was developed by MedTweetMy with the cooperation of the nephrologist services department of the ministry, as well as the Malaysian Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Universiti Putra Malaysia and AstraZeneca, said Dr Noor Hisham, is a one-stop information centre for the public and kidney disease patients.

It provides information on ways to look after kidneys and the treatments available for those suffering from kidney failure.

“I was made to understand that the information available at the website will be extended to wider topics, including pre-dialysis patients and education involving diabetes.

“The ministry hopes the website will increase awareness, educate the people, and subsequently help reduce the number of people suffering from kidney failure in the future,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said taking care of the people’s health is not only the duty of doctors, nurses and the ministry, but also a shared responsibility, which includes the participation of the public.

“Let us ‘Kita Jaga Kita’. We must not only win against Covid-19, but also against diseases such as chronic kidney failure,” he said.

The ministry’s nephrology services head Datuk Dr Ong Loke Meng said kidney diseases, if not detected early, will add to the social and financial problems of society.

“We hope the website will help educate the public on the disease,” he said.

NKF director Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher said the website will help the foundation to educate and reach out to the public with verified information surrounding kidney diseases and treatments.

“NKF will continue to support and cooperate with MSN and the ministry to provide quality dialysis treatment and information on ways to protect the kidneys,” he said. – NST