CEBU CITY-- Incidence of kidney diseases is on the rise in Central Visayas, and medical renal experts here claim that data on renal cases in the region are underreported.
Dr. John Li, a private nephrologist, said the data given by the Department of Health 7 of 514 patients undergoing dialysis treatment in 2010 taken from the Primary Renal Disease is "too low."
Li said the data perhaps only reflected those patients with permanent residence and does not include transient dialysis patients.
“I receive an average of 10 to 20 patients a day and half of them really have renal problems. And more than 50 percent cannot afford regular dialysis treatment,” Li said at the Kapihan sa PIA that featured the observance of June as National Kidney Month.
Dialysis treatment in a private hospital is said to cost between P3,000 to P4,000 per session while a patient with end-stage renal disease requires three times a week treatment, he said.
“Lack of money is basically the reason why renal patients do not seek dialysis or drop out from regular dialysis sessions or dialyze only one to two times instead of three times a week,” Li said.
Renal transplant surgeon Dr. Alvin Roxas of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center also said he believes the data is under-reported.
“When I started five to six years ago, there were already 4,000 new dialysis patients then. Year in, year out the number of patients needing dialysis is growing. In fact, at VSMMC we do four shifts instead of the usual two shifts because of the growing number of patients,” disclosed Roxas.
Roxas also said one indicator of rising renal cases is the sprouting dialysis centers in Cebu City.
DOH 7 Regional Director Asuncion Anden said in the same forum that there were 514 dialysis patients in Central Visayas in 2010. Of the figure, 290 patients were from Cebu, 108 from Bohol, 37 from Negros Oriental and two from Siquijor, with a total of 329 patients from Region 7 while 185 patients were from other provinces.
Anden said the same number have more or less been recorded for 2009 while they do not have the data yet for 2011.
He admitted that there is no system-based data on the exact figure of patients undergoing dialysis and that this needs to be addressed to have a real situationer on incidence of renal diseases in Central Visayas.
“We should focus more on how to prevent developing kidney disease rather than the correct data because we want to promote quality and productive life,” Li said.
Roxas, urged the public to undergo annual urinalysis for early detection of kidney dysfunction. This should be done at least once a year. he said. "Do it as a birthday gift to yourself,” said Roxas. Urinalysis costs around P60 here, he said.
The DOH-7 meanwhile, has lined up several forums this month on kidney disease prevention, particularly to public health workers in celebration of June as National Kidney Month.*PIA Cebu
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