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By: Finna Kahili

As the world commemorated World Kidney Day on Thursday, many Namibians flocked to kidney and dialysis centres to be screened for the diseases.

According to a specialist at the Kidney Dialysis Centre in Windhoek, Dr. Glenda Kalunga, there was a positive turnout from the public as they offered free screening to over 757 people at their seven centres countrywide. 

According to Kalunga, screenings and awareness campaigns started on Monday in the north in the towns of Outapi and Tsumeb.

She urged members of the public to utilise the opportunity to go for screening because kidney disease is non-specific and signs and symptoms often appear late.

“The symptoms of chronic kidney disease are usually non-specific, and they can range from excessive tiredness, nausea, vomiting, having an itchy skin and eventually till your body starts swelling up. Unfortunately with kidney disease most of these signs and symptoms are late, and therefore it is quite silent, by the time you start having symptoms, you would have lost at least 50% of your function,” remarked Kalunga.

Twenty-eight-year-old Ndumba Mathias was diagnosed with kidney failure in August 2017 and has been undergoing weekly dialysis treatments at the centre for seven years now. Despite his condition, he encourages others facing kidney failure, saying that it’s not the end of the road because there are treatments available.

“I just want to encourage people suffering from renal failure, after you have been diagnosed with renal failure just know that there is life after the diagnosis. As I am standing here speaking to you, I am a victim of it. I have been living with renal failure for seven to eight years and I have been operating normally, because these centres make sure that you are checked, and your blood pressure is maintained,” says Mathias.

Kalunga recommends healthy eating habits like exercising regularly and avoiding sugary drinks. World Kidney Day is commemorated on 14th March to raise awareness about kidney health, urging people to get screened for kidney disease. The screening campaign will end in Katima Mulilo tomorrow. 

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