With the renal clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital overcrowded and more children suffering with renal failure, the Barbados Kidney Association wants Barbadians to pay more attention to their kidney heath.
According to public relations officer Beverley Knight, there has been a notable increase in the number of patients with kidney failure.
“Over 200 people are on dialysis at the moment – that is peritoneal and haemodialysis,” she told Barbados TODAY.
And in commemoration of World Kidney Day, the association embarked on an initiative to educate Barbadians on preventative care, hosting health checks in Jubilee Gardens, Bay Street Esplanade, Bridgetown and the Speightstown Esplanade.
“Most people, when they hear it is kidney, say ‘oh, nothing is wrong with me’, but you don’t know. You can be walking around healthy and you might be having a problem and you are not really aware because it is not something that presents itself,” Knight said from her station in Jubilee Gardens.
Although she was unable to give statistics, the kidney association representative noted that the number of children diagnosed with kidney failure was also steadily increasing.
“We are seeing a few more children on the programme in 2017 in comparison to before. . . . A lot of children of obese, they are not exercising and [eating] a lot of junk food,” said Knight.
As the association checked the blood pressure and sugar levels of patrons, Knight advised them to practise healthier lifestyles, saying: “Get regular health checks, eat healthy and make sure to exercise. . . . Get children engaged in eating healthy from early.”