Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health joined countries in celebrating the World Kidney Day, observed on March 11 annually, with this year’s theme being “Living Well with Kidney Diseases”.
Kidney diseases are considered one of the main death reasons worldwide with around 850 million people diagnosed with kidney failure for various reasons, where chronic kidney failure causes at least 2.4 million deaths annually.
The Saudi Health Ministry are doing their best to raise the awareness of healthy lifestyles, develop healthy habits and activate early detection for the prevention of kidney diseases, recommending the public to follow healthy habits, such as practicing sports for at least 150 minutes per week, drinking enough liquids with an average of two liters a day and consuming healthy food.
The ministry also urged people to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, reduce the consumption of salt, sugar and soda, maintain ideal weight, check blood pressure periodically, check blood sugar levels at least once a year for non-diabetic people, and avoid smoking for its role in increasing oxidizers that are deemed harmful to kidneys, cause blockage to kidney arteries and increase the possibility of kidney cancer.
The ministry also called for refraining from factors that can cause kidney failure, such as overuse of painkillers, popular medicines and body building protein products, urging the public to undergo an annual checkup for kidney functions, especially individuals with potential risk factors, such as blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and genetic factors, calling on kidney patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry has offered a package of services through providing 11 areas and health clusters with kidney dialysis mobile devices through cooperation with the Health Endowment Fund, which has offered 5,168 dialyses and 11 devices. The devices and dialyses were also offered at hospitals allocated for isolating COVID-19 patients and lacked kidney dialysis services.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Health in 2020 executed 2,184,000 kidney dialysis sessions through 219 kidney dialysis units.