Tomorrow, Thursday March 10, is World Kidney Day and this year’s theme is “Kidney Disease and children… Act early to prevent it”.
Molly Fabé, executive director of the Cape Kidney Association, founded in 1978 by a group of nephrology doctors and nurses, said they assist indigent kidney patients at the various provincial hospitals in and around the greater Western Cape.
Ms Fabé said kidney disease is a silent killer, with hypertension and diabetes being the two main illnesses that could cause kidney failure.
Lifestyle and healthy eating are very important, especially a reduced intake of salt, she said.
Ms Fabé said while there are many requests, it is illegal to sell kidneys.
“If a patient requires a transplant, the family will get tested to see whether anyone in the family is a match and whether they are willing to donate their kidney,” she said.
Vice-chairman of the Cape Kidney Association, Dr Julian Jacobs, said people most likely to experience kidney diseases are older people because of high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus. He said kidney disease is less common in children and mostly inheritable conditions, birth defects and infective causes.
To register as an organ donor, contact the Organ Donor Foundation at 0800 22 66 11 (toll free), or email marilyn@ odf.org.za