Specialists invite Russians to check the state of their kidneys
World Kidney Day was marked in Russia on 11 March. The actual day was preceded by a round table organised by the national organisation of nephrologists and transplant patients called ‘Right to Life’.
An aim of the 2010 Day was to highlight the reciprocal link between diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Volunteers and members of Right to Life handed out leaflets in the Moscow Metro inviting people to have the condition of their kidneys assessed via a biochemical analysis of their urine. Professor Tomolina said that such tests should become a matter of routine just like those for blood pressure or blood sugar.
The co-chair of the organisation explained that the day was first introduced in 2006 but this was only the third time that it was being observed in Russia. He said that in 2008 they had only set up their organisation and told journalists about what they did and about diseases of the kidneys. A year ago the medical community had aligned itself with the initiative. This time nephrologists and transplant specialists together with patients were discussing achievements and problems regarding the treatment of kidney diseases.
According to the chair of the Russian Dialysis Association, Professor Natalia Tomolina, the part played by kidney disease had been underestimated in Russia. The ministry of health and social development had no post of chief nephrologist, the earlier stages of the diseases were not being diagnosed, the drugs were inadequate, there were no dialysis machines and the process of organ donation had not been systematised. At the same time, said Professor Tomolina the number of those afflicted by kidney disease was growing by about 17% annually or three times the world average. She went on to say that precise statistics on fatalities as a result of kidney disease in the Russian Federation did not exist because people were habituated to take just the proximate cause into account. That is to say that if a person with chronic kidney disease dies because of a heart attack it is the ‘latter box that will be ticked’. However, Professor Tomolina explained that the diseases affected each other reciprocally. Cardio-vascular disease led to kidney disease and the worse the latter became then the faster the former would progress. Specialists noted a clear link between kidney deficiency, arteriosclerosis and diabetes, which might lead to serious complications.
ASI 17, 2010