In Celebration of the 11th World Kidney Day, the Ministry of Public Health and the Lebanese Society of Nephrology and Hypertension launched today the 2016 kidney diseases national awareness campaign to fight the increase of preventable kidney diseases. The campaign titled “Act early to prevent it!” was launched during a press conference in collaboration with the Lebanese Pediatric Society, Ministry of Education and higher Education, Ministry of Telecommunications, Ministry of Social Affairs, Order of Nurses, syndicate of hospitals and supported by Sanofi and was attended by members of scientific societies and media.
Kidney disease is a silent killer if it is not detected and treated on time, which will largely affect millions of people worldwide, including many children who may be at risk at an early age. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of kidney disease. World Kidney Day global awareness theme for 2016 -Kidney Disease and Children- reminds us that we must all think about our kidneys from an early age and that much adult renal disease is actually initiated in childhood.
“Kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Pauline Abou Jaoude, on behalf of the Lebanese pediatric nephrologists. “It is therefore crucial that we encourage and facilitate education, early detection and a healthy life style in children, to fight the increase of preventable kidney diseases and to treat children with inborn and acquired disorders of the kidneys worldwide”.
“It is estimated that some degree of kidney damage affects approximatively 10% of the Lebanese population,” said Dr. Robert Najem, President Elect for the Lebanese Society of Nephrology. “ After 2010 and 2015, Lebanon is actively participating in 2016 in the global movement to educate people and remind them that kidneys are vital organs that should be taken good care of, wherever they live and whether they’re at risk or not. I want to thank the Ministry of Public Health as well as the medical and scientific societies for supporting our campaign by encouraging the adoption of prevention as the safest way to ensure good health and avoid the diseases and their complications”.
In turn, Doctor Bahij Arbid representing the Minister of Health Mr. Wael Abou Faour stated: “It is true that March has been designated as the National Kidney diseases Awareness Month; yet, raising awareness and educating the society about kidney prevention is very important and should continue all year round. This campaign is the fruit of cooperation between public and government institutions, medical orders and civil associations in view of ensuring success of preventive efforts against kidney diseases”.
The simple, yet the important messages of the campaign that are targeting the public in general and all parents of young children in particular include the following: do sports, drink a lot of water, go to the bathroom to pee regularly, do not eat a lot of sugar and salt, do not smoke and do not take any medications without consulting your doctor.
To expand the outreach of the core awareness message to a wider target audience and impact more lives, the Lebanese Society of Nephrology & Hypertension with the participation of 70 hospitals across Lebanon, will organize a series of interactive medical booths to sensitize the general public and highlight the importance of early diagnosis by providing free blood pressure tests and distributing flyers and brochures and alongside other educational material.