Chennai: Every year, the second Thursday of March is observed as World Kidney Day.
To mark the occasion, Tamilnadu Kidney Research Foundation (TANKER), an NGO that helps underprivileged overcome kidney ailments conducted awareness programmes in the city and addressed more than 250 patients with kidney disease on Sunday at Madras Medical Mission College.
Managing trustee of TANKER Foundation, Latha Kumaraswami said, “Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and is the 8th leading cause of death in women. So, the focus of this year is will be Womens Health.”
HoD of Nephrology at MMC and founder trustee of TANKER spoke specifically about women and kidney disease, stating that gestational diabetes and untreated UTIs very often lead to kidney ailments.
Later, Dr Georgi Abraham and and Dr Suresh Sankarasubaiyan along with a panel of doctors advised patients, many of whom were underprivileged and could not afford medical care about their diet requirements and answered technical questions regarding AV fistulas through which patients have Hemodialysis.
Chief guest and Kerala state award winning art director, Jayashree Lakshminarayanan who herself had a brush with kidney disease in he past spoke about making lifestyle changes with respect to exercise and diet to prevent future kidney-related ailments.
The event was organized by head of TANKERs Prevention and Awareness Programme, Rajalakshmi Ravi to spread awareness of kidney disease and create a sense of community between TANKERs patients, their families and the staff at the NGOs six dialysis units.
A statement from TANKER said, 3294 dialyses are done by them in a month, of which 2011 are done free of cost through the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.
In 2009, TANKER started an HIV Dialysis Unit providing dialysis to underprivileged HIV patients, which is the first of its kind facility in India.