Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DOH-Bicol asks children to go back to street sports, avoid salty foods to ward off kidney disease
By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, March 15 (PNA) -- With the cases of kidney disease increasing in the country, specially among children, health officials in Bicol have urged the parents to let their children go back to the streets to play native sports like sipa (kick) to fight lifestyle disease here.

The Department of Health Bicol regional office warned that kidney disease is like a walking time bomb as it affects people as young as three years old and is tremendously increasing across the country due to the unhealthily lifestyle and fatty and salty food intake of the present generation.

“In Albay province alone, there are six dialysis centers. This is just a tip of the iceberg. How much more if we get the regional situationer. The Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital alone posted a high percentage of patients undergoing dialysis,” Dr. Ma. Lorna Wong, president of Philippine Society of Nephrology in Bicol, said.

Records showed that people as young as 11 years old are undergoing dialysis treatment here; though the higher number of patients undergoing treatment are aged between 51 to 60 years old, followed by 61 and above, and 41 to 50 years.

Surprisingly, Wong said, those aged 21 to 30 years old ranked fourth in undergoing dialysis treatment while the age bracket from 31 to 40 ranked fifth and those aged 11 to 20 ranked six in the BRTTH records.

For minors afflicted with kidney problem, Wong said, the contributory factors are lifestyle like tech gadgets and computer games.

She urged the public, especially the parents, to let their children to go back to traditional and native sports like sepak takraw to fight kidney illnesses.

“Let’s go back to basic sports and to watch the food intake of our children not to eat junk food, hamburger, fatty and salty foods. The increasing number of kidney disease is alarming because it affects not only the elderly but also our children so we have to act now if we don’t want our relatives to develop kidney illnesses,” Wong said.

In the Philippines, kidney disease is the seventh cause of death and an estimated 23,000 Filipinos underwent dialysis due to kidney failure in 2013, according to the DOH Bicol report.

Napoleon L. Arevalo, DOH Bicol acting regional director, said some children develop it at an early age while others have it since birth.

“Renal disease is highly preventable when we start young and practice healthy living. It is essential that we educate children on the early detection of renal disease and the importance of healthy lifestyle. We must inculcate this to the young so that they will develop a healthy habit that they will continue until old age which will not only ease them from the burden of kidney related disease, but also other illnesses,” Arevalo said.

It has been noted lately that an increasing number of dialysis centers have been sprouting in the region.

According to the Philippine Society of Nephrology-Bicol Chapter, this is an indicator that there is a growing number of Bicolanos, including children, who are suffering from kidney failure.

This may be the result of unhealthy practices acquired in early childhood such as eating too salty, fatty and sweet foods, not drinking enough water, holding urination and lack of good personal hygiene.

“Let us support this advocacy by having a regular exercise and healthy lifestyle. Exercise does not only mean extensive workout, it can be in a form of simple household chores like ‘pagwawalis’ and ‘pagbubunot’. Likewise, this should go along with proper diet,” Arevalo explained.

The World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March in more than 100 countries on 6 continents.

It focuses on the vital functions of the kidneys and reduction of the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

The DOH-Bicol commemorated World Kidney Day, spotlighting children’s renal health with the theme: "Kidney Disease and Children: Act Early to Prevent It" at the Bicol University Integrated Laboratory School grounds, Legazpi City.

This is a collaborative effort and initiative of the Philippine Society of Nephrology (Bicol chapter), Department of Education, Bicol University, and selected public and private elementary schools.

"This year’s theme resonates that we must learn the habit of taking care of our kidneys at an early age for it is found that adult renal disease can be traced from childhood," Arevalo said. (PNA) FFC/FGS/RBB/CBD