Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said specialist renal service would be launched soon.

The prime minister said this while addressing an awareness morning rally programme organised here today on the occasion of the World Kidney Day. He said specialists, including Prof Dr Divya Singh Shah, the Dean of the Institute of Medicine, were doing homework for starting specialised renal services.

"Focus should be on two main topics - how we can protect our kidneys from damage and how all treatment services could be made available within the country itself in case of kidney disease," said PM Oli, who himself had undergone kidney transplantation twice so far. He advised to pay special attention to diet and avoid taking food that is harmful to the health of kidneys. "All should take precaution as everyone can suffer from kidney diseases," he cautioned.

The PM reiterated that the government's goal was to make treatment, primary examination, laboratory and specialist doctors' services available in the country so that a patient would not have to go abroad.

In this context, he recalled that he had to go abroad for kidney transplantation the first time as specialist services were not available in the country.

"Some people took a swipe at me for going abroad for treatment. But the fact is that I did not go abroad because I liked it or because I wanted to spend money abroad. I had gone because specialist renal treatment was not available in the country," he said.

PM Oli urged one and all to live a healthy life and be safe from serious diseases such as kidney diseases.

The prime minister also participated in the morning rally after addressing the function.

The morning procession started from Basantapur and returned to the same place after marching through Ratna Park, Asan and Indrachowk.

Senior kidney disease specialist Dr Rishi Kumar Kafle said kidneys of 3,000 people get damaged annually in Nepal due to unhealthy lifestyle and food. Dr Kafle stressed the need to raise public awareness to prevent kidney disease.

Ten per cent of the world's population suffers from kidney disease. There are only two options after the kidney is damaged – kidney transplant and dialysis. Kidney transplant service is available in Bir Hospital, TU Teaching Hospital, the Human Organ Transplant Centre, Bhaktapur, Grande International Hospital, Sumeru Hospital and Nidan Hospital.

The government provides kidney transplant and dialysis service to patients free of cost.

It is said 5,000 people undergo dialysis and 2,500 people kidney transplantation annually in Nepal.

Kidney disease is a non-communicable disease, which currently affects around 850 million people worldwide.

One in ten adults has chronic kidney disease.

Being diagnosed with kidney disease can be a huge challenge, both for the patient and those around them. Its diagnosis and management, particularly in advanced stages, impacts severely upon their lives by reducing their, and that of family and friends' ability to participate in everyday activities such as work, travel and socialising, while causing numerous problematic side effects - fatigue, pain, depression, cognitive impairment, gastrointestinal problems and sleep problems.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 12, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.