Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Urged to Register for Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

KUALA LUMPUR: Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today has called on chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients to register for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

In his address during the World Kidney Day 2021 celebration held virtually today, Dr Noor Hisham said the people especially CKD patients should register for inoculation immediately.

Malaysia had rolled out its Covid-19 immunisation programme on Feb 26, with the first two recipients were Dr Noor Hisham and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In his speech, Dr Noor Hisham reiterated the Health Ministry’s concern over the rising number of Malaysians with CKD.

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He said there were 40,000 CKD patients undergoing dialysis nationwide.

“A total of 8,000 new patients were detected in 2018, and the trend is seen increasing every year. Should this continue, the number of patients requiring dialysis is estimated to be 106,000 by 2040.

He said the most worrying factor was 30 per cent of the patients who require dialysis were aged below 45.

Dr Noor Hisham said the nephrologist services department of the ministry, as well as the Malaysian Society of Nephrology and National Kidney Foundation (NKF), would intensify efforts to educate the people on kidney ailment.

“These include the importance of periodic screening, early prevention, and fostering the sense of responsibility and involvement during the treatment stage.”

NKF director Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher in his speech called on the public to undergo periodic health screening for early detection.

He said symptoms related to the disease would not be apparent during the early stages of the disease.

“The symptoms will only become apparent when about 90 per cent of kidney function is lost.”

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Hospital nephrologist Dr Wan Hazlina Wan Mohamad said kidney failure symptoms would only be visible when the organ is functioning at under 15 per cent.

Dr Wan Hazlina said most of the patients would not experience any symptoms for years until a screening was done.

“Usually a patient would only be informed of their health status whenever they go through a full medical check-up before they start a new job or continue studies.

“The symptoms will be swollen feet; puffy face; urinate frequently especially during the night time or lack of urine output; fatigue; appetite loss; nausea and vomiting; foamy urine as well as shortness of breath.

“These would also lead to comatose.”

Dr Wan Hazlina said diabetes was the main cause of kidney failure in the country.

“Other than diabetes which is also the country’s top diagnosed condition, other diseases that contribute to kidney failure are; high blood pressure; obesity; inflammation of the kidneys; kidney stones, smoking; taking painkillers without doctor’s prescription; family medical history.”

She advised the people to ensure good care of their kidneys by practising healthy eating habits, exercise and monitor their weight.

“We know that Malaysians could not avoid having rice. But what we can do now is to practice a balanced diet or portion your food.

“Forget about sugary drinks; foods that are high in calorie or sodium. Instead, why not try having more fresh vegetables and chicken in your diet seasoned with natural preservatives like black pepper or even curry powder.”

Dr Wan Hazlina stressed that smoking; taking drugs including medication that could poison the kidneys should be avoided.


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