MUSCAT, Nov 15 - A total of 1,917 patients suffering from kidney problems are undergoing dialysis at six major hospitals across the Sultanate, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Of these, 1,729 are undergoing blood purification dialysis and 188 peritoneal dialysis at the Royal Hospital and other hospitals in Suhar, Ibra, Sinaw, Al Rustaq and Nizwa. There are 24 renal dialysis centres in different governorates.
“Cases of kidney dysfunction are on the rise and 1,600 Omani youth suffering from End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) are awaiting kidney transplantation,” says Dr Issa Salim al Salmi, Senior Consultant (Medicine-Nephrology), Royal Hospital.
He said Oman has a large young population that suffers from ESKD compared with those in other countries of the region.
As part of raising awareness on kidney diseases, the Directorate General of Health Services, represented by the Department of Nursing and Bausher Renal Dialysis Centre had organised a health expo on kidney and chronic diseases.
Held under the auspices of Hilal Hamad al Sarmi, a member of Majlis Ash’shura, Representative of Al Seeb, it was attended by MoH’s Directors-General and healthcare providers at Baushar Polyclinic.
Nonetheless, lack of kidney donors has been a dampener for patients hoping to lead a normal life.
“Lack of awareness is the main reason behind people’s reluctance to donate organs of beloved ones after their death,” said Al Salmi, also the Head of Renal Medicine Department, at the hospital.
Religious misconceptions are other reasons (for the lack of donors), he said.
In the absence of local donors, most Omani families fall prey to unscrupulous traders who procure organs in the black market, which is illegal.
Early diagnosis is crucial in reducing the number of patients having kidney dysfunction. Such a diagnosis can slow or prevent the progression of the kidney diseases in the country.
Kidney diseases often have no symptoms, and they go undetected until the advanced stages. A simple urine test can shed light on how healthy the kidneys are.
The event also aimed at raising awareness on the key factors that cause chronic kidney failure.
Kidney diseases, causes and prevention methods were highlighted.