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Mar 13, 2015

Fair Addresses Kidney Health Concerns

On the occasion of World Kidney Day, a health fair was held by the Kidney Association and partners encouraging persons to get a true picture of their overall health.  There is a significant increase in the number of diabetic and hypertensive patients which means that kidney diseases are also on the rise. The health fair provided the opportunity for free testing to know your status. Andrea Polanco dropped by the Lions Club and files the following report.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

In recognition of World Kidney Day, the Kidney Association of Belize partnered with other organizations and health associations to conduct its annual health fair.


Ruby Nicholas

Ruby Nicholas, President, Kidney Association of Belize

“The purpose for our health fair is for us to know that the kidney test that each individual is taking, if it’s at border line or if it’s above, we will have intervention. Having them visit a doctor and giving them advice as to what to do pertaining to their kidney functions.”


With a growing population of diabetic and hypertensive patients, the need for kidney tests and screening is higher than ever.  Today, the Kidney Association of Belize hopes to reach four hundred people. But are Belizeans generally interested to know about the health of their kidney?


Ruby Nicholas

“Yes. It may not be to the extent that we would want, but there is an awareness happening. Kidney Disease is on the rise. Why? Because the two main causes of kidney disease is hypertension and diabetes. If Diabetes and Hypertension is on the rise then automatically kidney disease will be on the rise.”


Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the most common kidney diseases that we are seeing in Belize; or some of the complications that are more common?”


Ruby Nicholas

“The most common that we are seeing is end stage renal failure; where a patient arrives at the doctor and the doctor says that your kidneys are no longer functioning and you need dialysis; that’s the most common. There are other Kidney diseases like Kidney Stones and Polycystic Kidney. The doctors would be the ones to give us more information on those. But we are recognizing that once you are a diabetic and hypertensive and your numbers are continuously high, then you are a potential candidate for kidney disease.”


Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the challenges you face in terms of encouraging people and getting them to come out and check the status of their kidney?”


Ruby Nicholas

“It’s kinda so sad that health should be the number one priority for an individual, so therefore when we have other entities like HECOPAB that goes across the country to try and bring people to check their kidneys. We have limited people who come in and I don’t understand why. I want to send an alarm that we don’t take care of our health and let that become a priority, and then we will be end up having difficulties along the way.”


And if you’re wondering whether you need to get a full body check-up, perhaps you should and be sure to include your kidney. Nicholas says that at times there may be symptoms that something is wrong, or there may be none at all, until it’s too late.


Ruby Nicholas

“Sometimes, it doesn’t give you a sign. If you are getting signs that your kidneys are bothering you, it’s at the end stage of renal failure. So this is what the doctor would advise us to do. If you are a diabetic and hypertensive, then visit your doctor frequently and run all your necessary tests. Kidney Disease is what we are focusing on because we are kidney association. The doctor will also tell you that it also affects other organs like eyes and heart. We will also ask you to come in regularly. If you are not diabetic and hypertensive, do an annual checkup. Let the Kidney function be a part of your annual checkup. There are symptoms, swollen feet, frequent urination, dehydration, pain in your back, but these are symptoms that can be associated with other diseases.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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