Minister Uys Visits Groote Schuur Hospital's Renal Dialysis Unit in Support of Kidney Awareness Week
Visiting the Kidney dialysis-unit at Groote Schuur in support of Kidney Awareness Week, Uys says the survival rate of 80% of all kidney transplant patients during the first year and a 50% survival in the next nine years, is a record to be proud of. There is, however, a dire need for greater organ donor awareness.
"At present one third of our donors are living relative (family) donors and the rest cadaver donors. We would prefer 100% cadaver donors, but to achieve this, it is essential to promote a much greater public awareness regarding organ donation. People willing to donate their organs at their death should inform their next of kin accordingly. Relatives should inform medical staff immediately upon the death of a loved one, despite the trauma and heartache which accompanies such a death, that the deceased is a willing organ donor. Donors can also carry organ donor cards," says Uys.
Kidney transplants at Groote Schuur Hospital are already at 58 this year compared to the 51 done last year.
We can all contribute to help ease the burden on organ transplants at our hospitals by adopting a lifestyle minimising the risk of kidney disease.
The most important steps to keep kidneys healthy include:
- Giving up smoking. People who smoke are three times more likely to have reduced kidney functions.
- Limiting alcohol: limit alcohol intake to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Enjoying life: Reduce stress by doing things you like doing.
- Good nutrition: Eat lots of fruit, stick to lean meat and avoid fatty foods.
- Drinking water: Water assists in transporting nutrients around the body.
- Regular exercise: Exercise reduces the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, both risk factors for kidney disease.
Ministry of Health
Tel: 021 483 2627