Kathmandu, April 1:

With the objective of making people aware of kidney diseases and their treatment, the National Kidney Centre (NKC) launched the Kidney Week 2007, a series of programmes, including discussions and debates in the media, today.

The programmes conclude on April 10, the 10th anniversary of the NKC. Executive director of the centre, Dr Rishi Kumar Kafle, said that the programmes basically are intended to make people aware of kidney diseases. The programmes include debates and discussions through media, kidney screening, blood donation and musical events.

Aani Choyang, a renowned singer, has also joined the campaign. She said the treatment of kidney failure was not sufficient in the country. “Compared to other treatments, treatment of kidney failure is too expensive. It is even higher than cancer and HIV,” she said. Budding singer Lochan Rijal is also taking part in the campaign. “Awareness is the only solution,” he said.

According to him, cost of dialysis sessions has gone down.

But the dialysis service is available only in the NKC. The NKC has 30 machines and operates approximately 1,400 haemodialysis sessions a month. The government-run Bir Hospital has only has only five working dialysis machines. The centre runs on patient fees, with technical support from a group of German organisations and individuals.

Beate Vogt, German technical team leader, hailed the works of the centre and said, “My decision to provide assistance to the centre was right.” “Some even told me the project would not succeed but we survived a decade and proved that the effort was worth it.”