'Upstream' approach important in fight against kidney failure

Renal failure patients at the Thong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia National Kidney Foundation dialysis centre. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The drop in the number of kidney failure cases that was reported recently could be attributed to year-round frequent outreach and awareness efforts in the community (Kidney failure cases down, reversing a 15-year trend; Jan 20).

Over the last few years, many community agencies organising regular health-related activities have helped people gain knowledge on the importance of eating right, exercising and making informed choices on effective lifestyle interventions to help reduce the risk of kidney diseases.

The media has also been playing a greater role in persuading people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

The National Kidney Foundation has been working closely with the community to set up kidney health booths and give talks to promote awareness of kidney functions.

With continuous and persistent efforts, we hope to empower people to take charge of their kidneys by consciously making small changes in their daily lives, such as having a diet of less sugar, less salt and less oil, and doing regular exercises.

While we are encouraged to see the drop in kidney failure cases, we fully understand that it requires effort and time for people to make lifestyle changes and habits.

It is therefore important for us to continue to press forward and adopt the "upstream" approach to delay the progression of kidney failure.

We would like to invite the public to take part in an upcoming event "Listen to Your Kidneys", which will be held on March 11 in conjunction with World Kidney Day, to learn more about the early warning signs of kidney disease.

For more information on kidney disease prevention, the public can call the NKF hotline on 1800-KIDNEYS (1800-543-6397), or visit www.nkfs.org.

Tim Oei

Chief Executive Officer

National Kidney Foundation

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