For the Common Man
The prevalence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension has rapidly increased over the last few years. Many consider India the diabetes capital of the world. One of the biggest concerns with both these life style diseases is that they can lead to kidney failure if they are not properly monitored and managed.
BKF believes in creating awareness and screening for high risk individuals who could end up developing chronic kidney disease. We conduct a number of camps targeted at young adults in at risk communities for early detection of kidney risk. We then track this young adults through continuous monitoring to ensure they do not develop chronic kidney disease. In addition to monitoring, we also provide counseling services to help these individuals understand the underlying risks of their condition and how the right management can help them avoid end stage renal failure in the future.
For End Stage Renal-disease Patients
The kidneys have an important role in maintaining health. When the person is healthy, the kidneys maintain the body’s internal equilibrium of water and minerals (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfate). The kidneys also function as a part of the endocrine system, producing erythropoietin, calcitriol and renin. Erythropoietin is involved in the production of red blood cells and calcitriol plays a role in bone formation
End stage renal disease patients have multiple challenges that they need to face because their kidneys stop functioning. One of the most important challenges is the need to undergo renal replacement therapy through dialysis. Dialysis allows an ESRD patient to continue to maintain a relatively good quality of life through their kidneys aren’t working.
What is dialysis
In medicine, dialysis is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally. This is referred to as renal replacement therapy.
Types of dialysis
The two main types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, remove wastes and excess water from the blood in different ways. Hemodialysis removes wastes and water by circulating blood outside the body through an external filter, called a dialyzer, that contains a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane in combination with a few solutions is used to ensure that the body is able to replace a percentage of the function performed by a kidney.
In peritoneal dialysis, wastes and water are removed from the blood inside the body using the peritoneum as a natural semipermeable membrane. Wastes and excess water move from the blood, across the peritoneal membrane and into a special dialysis solution, called dialysate, in the abdominal cavity.
Challenges with Dialysis
Dialysis doesn’t completely replace kidney function. It replaces a portion of the function performed by the kidney. However, the same if done regularly has been found to be sufficient to help patients have a relatively good quality of life. However, dialysis does come with its challenges.
Physical challenges include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea etc. However, most patients on regular dialysis soon manage to overcome these challenges and lead a relatively normal life.
One of the biggest challenges of dialysis is its economic implications. Dialysis is an expensive process and costs anywhere between INR 24000 to INR 30000 per month. Most people cannot afford to be on long term maintenance dialysis unless they are covered by insurance or have some other financial support or assistance.
Impact of need for dialysis on low income households
Most low-income households cannot afford the cost for dialysis and for this reason they opt not to go in for dialysis. Additionally, if the person on the need of dialysis at home is a lady and not the sole bread winner, the preference is to not opt-in for dialysis.
Role of BKF
The BKF over the years has been focussed on addressing the needs of low-income households in need of dialysis. We do this by offering subsidized dialysis at our centers. Additionally, we have one of its kind women-only dialysis wings to encourage women to go in for dialysis.
The biggest impact BKF makes is by offering dialysis at almost 50% the cost that a patient would incur at a regular dialysis center. Over the years we have conducted over 300000 sessions of subsidized dialysis, and in turn, have impacted 17000 individuals
For transplant patients
BKF firmly believes the renal transplant is a long term sustainable alternative for patients on long term dialysis. Unfortunately, the awareness levels for live donor and cadaver donor transplantation in India is very low. Though we have a very good eco-system of doctors and medical institutions that can conduct transplants with a very great degree of success, the number of donations has been extremely low for various reasons. The reasons for low live donors include poor awareness levels on the risks of being an organ donor, misinformation on possible complications, poor articulation on costs involved and success rates of transplants. Similarly, the extremely low numbers for cadaver donors can be attributed to religious sentiments that significantly impact organ donations though the immediate family might be willing to donate.
BKF over the years has been working to improve awareness on benefits of transplants and the minimal impact it has on donor lives. We believe the gift of life is the greatest gift that anyone can make. There is a strong regulatory environment in place to try and stop organ trade, which has resulted in hospitals only willing to do related party transplants i.e. organ donations are accepted only from immediate family members. Despite these regulatory constraints, the number of donations has been abysmally low. Related party transplants have been accepted to have the highest success rates in the world and BKF is working to educate families on how they can donate their kidneys to help their loved ones. BKF is also working to promote the use of organ donor cards, so that family members of registered donors will have guidance on the wishes of the family member in the event of brain death.
Beyond just creating awareness on the benefits of organ donation BKF also helps transplant patients. We help transplant patients with procuring post transplant medication at subsidized rates. Additionally, we also teach them how best to live their life to ensure the transplant is a success and the transplant kidney lasts a very long time. These activities are done through one on one counseling sessions and through awareness sessions.
Sringeri Mutt and BKF will shortly commence work on a new building in the same premises for a Nephro-Urology center including affordable cost kidney transplants.