Sattam Calls For Greater Efforts To Address Needs Of Kidney Patients 2009: Riyadh Conference

Sattam calls for greater efforts to address needs of kidney patients

RIYADH: A conference to discuss advances in the treatment of renal diseases and transplantation in Saudi Arabia, where the total number of kidney patients
exceeds 10,000, was opened by Prince Sattam, vice governor of Riyadh, on Sunday night. Speaking at the conference, Prince Sattam urged all government agencies, private partners and charities to boost efforts to address the needs of kidney patients. He said the growing number of kidney failure patients clearly suggests that there is an urgent need to promote and incorporate a prevention program that is already in place. “The strategy adopted should focus on reducing the incidence of kidney failure substantially by appropriately chosen models,” he said. Prince Abdulaziz said this fourth conference has been held to emphasize the importance of charitable work in this field. He also called on media channels to focus more on renal diseases and their prevention methods. The prince, while highlighting the need to create awareness about organ donations, said the prevalence of chronic renal failure is 80 to 120 cases for every one million people in the Kingdom. The figure is well below the prevalence rate in Europe, which is 283 cases per one million people, 975 cases in the United States, and 1,149 cases in Japan. The low prevalence rates in the region could be due to under-reporting, said a report released on the occasion. The economic burden of renal replacement and hemodialysis is enormous and may be beyond the capacity of most people in the region, said the report. Saudi Arabia has exerted greater efforts in this direction, said the report, adding that more than 175 health centers in the Kingdom are equipped with 2,818 dialysis machines. Besides organizations like the Prince Fahd charity, the Saudi government is helping needy patients and donors. It has announced incentives for live donors — who will get SR50,000 in cash, the King Abdul Aziz Third Degree Medal of appreciation, and discounted tickets on Saudia flights.
“But, there is a need to do more because the rate of renal failure patients is increasing at about nine percent per year,” said the prince. He pointed out that there is a need to generate awareness among common people about kidney diseases and precautions to be taken to reverse the process of renal failure.

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