South Australians living in regional areas are being urged to take care of their kidneys and protect themselves against related disease this Kidney Health Week – March 5-11.
Dubbed the ‘silent killer’, kidney-related disease affects more Australians each year than breast cancer or prostate cancer with one in 10 Australians having Chronic Kidney Disease.
Clinical Director of Renal Services for Country Health SA, Professor Stephen McDonald, said more than 800 South Australians currently receive dialysis, with that figure tipped to rise.
“In country South Australia 192 people are currently receiving dialysis across 12 sites, and a further 41 people are receiving dialysis at home,” Professor McDonald said.
“Screening for kidney disease is extremely important as this can delay the progression of the disease, which we know is more common in rural and regional areas.
“Delivering dialysis to our clients across the State and enabling them to receive treatment close to home is an enormous benefit to country South Australians, and we are working to further improve our services.”
In addition to country services, the Country Health SA’s mobile dialysis truck provides dialysis to Aboriginal communities in remote parts of the state.
The truck is also used for holiday dialysis trips supported by the Dorothy Brown Trust allowing patients and their loved ones to enjoy a rare holiday, when the weather makes it difficult to travel to the APY lands and remote parts of the state.
Kidney Health Australia Interim Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Murphy, said their simple online test can show if someone is at increased risk of developingkidney-related disease.
“If caught early, chronic kidney disease is treatable and in some cases can even be reversed entirely, which is why we are urging all Australians to know their risk profile and have their kidneys checked by a GP.”
Australians at risk of developing chronic kidney disease include those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, have had a previous stroke, a family history of kidney failure, are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, smoke, are 60+ years or are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.
Find out if you are at an increased risk of developing chronic kidney through Kidney Health Australia’s ‘Are you the 1 in 3?’ test at www.kidney.org.au.