By lumbiwe mwanza
Zambia has joined the global community in commemorating world kidney day under the theme “kidney health for everyone everywhere”.
World kidney day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidneys.
Kidneys filter an approximated 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production in the body.
Kidneys are, however, also prone to disease and one can be at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure according to medical experts.
According to the latest world health organization data published in 2017, kidney disease deaths in Zambia reached 622 or 0.54 percent of total deaths.
Kidney illness remains a challenge in Zambia prompting medical practitioners to get to the drawing board.
Last year, a combined team of Zambian and Indian doctors successfully conducted the first ever kidney transplant in Zambia at the university teaching hospital in Lusaka.
The kidney donor Tinashe Kasweshi and recipient Dr job Kasweshi are the two brothers that under-went Zambia’s first ever kidney transplant surgery.
A recipient Dr Job Kasweshi shared his experience stating that he starting falling ill from 2013 till late last year when he was requested to undergo kidney transplant.
“The problem started in 2013,I got better, unfortunately it came back and I had renal failure” Dr Kasweshi explained.
He described kidney disease as challenging, further calling for strengthened awareness programs on kidney diseases in order to fight the scourge effectively.
It takes courage and humility, to embrace organ donation to save a life, kidney donor, Tinashi Kasweshi attributes the myths that surround organ donation to the reason why some people are scared to donate their organs.
“people will tell you that you that if you undergo such a surgery you will not be able to stand again, live a normal life or that you will never have children” Mr Kasweshi said.
Mr Kasweshi further highlighted the importance of extending help to one another through organ donation in order to help save lives.
“Life is not worth living if we cannot share it with others, for me I am happy that I was the solution to my brothers problem and seeing him alive and living his life gives me joy” Mr Kasweshi said.
Mr Kasweshi further disclosed that he and his brother intends to establish and initiative that will supplement governments effort towards preventing and raising awareness about kidney diseases.
Meanwhile kidney foundation of Zambia secretary Thomson Fungwa emphasized the need for private clinics to lower the cost of dialysis.
Kidney diseases remain among the leading causes of death placing Zambia at number 155 on the world health organization rankings. This is a reflection on how much we need to strengthen interventions against the burden, if post 2030 sustainable development goal number three that promotes quality health for all is to be achieved.