News

Kidney transplant their best option

I congratulate The New Paper on the launch of its 25th-anniversary book, Singapore Raw: 25 Stories From 25 Years Of News, Emotion, Wow.

The heartwarming story of kidney recipient Bryan Liu in the book (featured in TNP's article "He's beaten the odds"; Feb 21), is timely as the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) encourages kidney donation and increased efforts in health education and early detection of kidney disease to avoid the burden of kidney failure.

This is in light of the rise in kidney failure cases in Singapore, with four people losing the use of their kidneys every day.

NKF has been promoting kidney transplantation since the early 1970s as it provides kidney failure patients with a better clinical outcome than other treatment options such as dialysis.

However, it is limited due to the shortage of kidney donors.

In 2012, there were 457 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, but only 23 cadaveric and 28 live donor kidney transplants were carried out that year.

With the average waiting time for a kidney transplant being nine years, dialysis is the next treatment option for patients whose kidneys have failed.

Through our Kidney Live Donor Support Programme, NKF is able to provide financial assistance to a needy live donor who, through his or her act of compassion, gives someone a new lease of life.

NKF currently serves over 3,200 patients, or over 60 per cent of all dialysis patients in Singapore.

With diabetes and hypertension being the two leading causes of kidney failure, such diseases and other risk factors related to kidney failure should be discovered and treated early.

While we continue to serve the nation's poor and marginalised kidney failure patients, we will be doing more upstream in partnership with health-care and other organisations to raise awareness of kidney disease and prevention in the community.

We therefore encourage more Singaporeans to eat healthily by cutting down on their salt and sugar intakes, exercising and going for regular check-ups.

FROM EDMUND KWOK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION