SINGAPORE - With new interactive exhibits at the revamped Kidney Discovery Centre, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) hopes to educate more working adults and senior citizens on the importance of kidney health.
After a $1 million renovation, the centre, which was officially opened by Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng on Monday (April 17), now features exhibits equipped with technology such as motion detectors and touch screens.
At one exhibit, visitors can use the tablets to scan the displayed food items and calculate the total calories and sugar content for each meal. They can then use a motion sensing device, called the Kinect, to simulate exercises to burn the calories "consumed" from the virtual meal.
Since the centre first opened in 2011, it has seen about 6,000 visitors a year.
Visitors can go on guided tours to learn about how kidneys function, how to protect their kidneys, the symptoms and causes of kidney failure, and dialysis treatment options.
Previously, the centre was catered mainly to students. But with a rising incidence of kidney failure, the NKF hopes to expand its tours to more working adults and elderly, and double the centre's visitorship to 12,000 yearly.
Said NKF chairman Koh Poh Tiong: "Early education and prevention is the key to stop the escalation of kidney failure cases. With greater awareness of kidney disease and its prevention, we hope that fewer people will contract kidney failure in time to come."
Kidney failure is a health concern in Singapore, with one Singaporean losing the use of his kidneys every five hours. Since 2000, the number of new cases of kidney failure has more than doubled, from 744 to 1,770 in 2015. Last year, Singapore was fifth in the world for new cases of kidney failure.
In 2015, there were 6,230 kidney patients on dialysis treatment, of which about two-thirds received treatment at the NKF.