Forum: NKF's approaches go beyond disease

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) currently serves more than 4,200 haemodialysis patients at 39 centres across Singapore, and fully supports the approaches that go beyond the disease afflicting the person (Focus on sick person's problems, not just diagnosis, June 2).

We provide quality kidney care together with our healthcare partners to our kidney failure patients, but we believe that our greater mission should be to prevent or delay any person from being afflicted with kidney failure.

NKF wants Singaporeans to stay strong and healthy as far as possible and not end up needing dialysis.

We are fully aware of the urgent need to reduce the nation's rising incidence of kidney failure, from 1,275 new cases in 2009 to 1,999 in 2017, with no signs of slowing down.

Delaying kidney failure progression is critical and this lies in chronic kidney disease education and prevention.

Crucially, we need to look into broadening support networks at early chronic kidney disease intervention and management.

We have to continue to redouble efforts to educate as many people as possible about chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and its debilitating effects.

We encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle and actively reach out to targeted high-risk groups such as family members of our patients.

We know that we cannot prevent everyone from getting kidney failure. For those needing dialysis, NKF provides holistic and integrated care together with our allied health professionals through services and close partnerships to meet patients' physical, nutritional and psychosocial needs.

Our aim is to support all patients to work with us to take ownership of their medical condition and take charge of their health to lead impactful lives, contribute to families and ultimately to society.

It takes a "whole village" to work together - from the individual to healthcare providers to even food suppliers - to keep as many villagers as possible healthy to support the whole village.

Everyone in the healthcare ecosystem can play a bigger part, but ultimately it boils down to the individual to take ownership of his health.

Tim Oei

Chief Executive Officer

The National Kidney Foundation

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