Tanzania: One-in-10 Suffers From Kidney Disease – Data

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania joined the globe in marking the World Kidney Day 2021 yesterday, with experts outlining measures that people need to take to prevent kidney-related complications.

Experts, who spoke to The Citizen said kidney diseases do cost households dearly because most people discover about their conditions after the disease had reached advanced stages. This year has been declared by the steering committee as the year of ‘Living Well with Kidney Disease.’

This is aimed at increasing education and awareness about effective symptoms management and patient empowerment.

Statistics show that ten percent of the global population have some form of kidney problems, according to Dr Onesmo Kisanga, head of the Kidney Unit at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).

However, Dr Kisanga noted that – although there were no recent statistics on the situation in the country – a 2004 study on kidney diseases found that 6.7 percent of the population had a chronic kidney problem, with the main reason being low awareness of kidney issues.

He said most chronic kidney patients seeking MNH treatment are those who have reached the fourth and fifth stages – and, hence, needing blood dialysis or kidney transplant. He said in stages one to three, the patient is tested, treated and recovers. Stages four and five are when the patient must be put on blood purification or kidney transplant.

“It is advisable for people to come forward for testing and treatment in the early stages,” said Dr Kisanga.

“Chronic kidney disease is complex and expensive but can be prevented or treated in the early stages,” he added.