Why Kidney disease is killing more men than women

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As the world marked international Kidney Day on Thursday, this year’s theme, “Kidney health for everyone everywhere”, aims to highlight the growing burden of kidney diseases.

It is estimated that 50 million people worldwide have kidney diseases due to various causes. Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) cause at least 2.4 million deaths per year and are now the sixth fastest growing cause of death.

Today is #worldkidneyday and thus, we took a look at the treatment landscape, deals and market growth in the world’s 6th fastest growing cause of death: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).#whatsthedeal #worldkidneyday2019 #kidenyday #wkd2019 pic.twitter.com/lBniNokazb— MSC_nordics (@msc_nordics) March 14, 2019

Men are considered to be at great risk of kidney diseases mostly because they engage in risky lifestyle behaviour and seek treatment late thus get transplanted more than women on overall.

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“I am not surprised that the figure [NHIF payout] has gone up because we have more dialysis centres and equipment across the country and more patients are able to access treatment,” Dr John Ngigi, who heads Kenyatta National Hospital’s renal unit said.

Currently, it is estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 patients are on dialysis in the country, against 10,000 who have been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease.

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A scrutiny of the benefits package utilisation report also shows that in the last half of 2018, NHIF paid a further Sh64.7 million towards kidney transplants, up from Sh21.7 million the previous year.

This makes the procedure one of the top expenditure items in the health care benefits package, marking an increase of Sh520million, up from Sh 1.24 billion spent in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Dialysis helps keep the body’s fluids and electrolytes balanced when the kidneys can no longer function normally.

Through the procedure, the body’s fluid balance is maintained by the removal of waste, extra water and salt to ensure they do not build up to dangerous or harmful levels.

The process also helps maintain a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood, such as potassium, sodium, and bicarbonate, and helps to control blood pressure in the process.

In the past years, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has made significant progress in supporting patients with chronic kidney disease, with payouts for treatment of kidney failure last year, increasing by 41 per cent, seeing the insurer pay up to Sh1.8 billion for dialysis.

This was an increase from Sh1.24 billion spent in the 2016/2017 financial year, highlighting the burden of the procedure to insurers.

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