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Kidney Association of Belize asking those in their 20s to make sure they know of hereditary illnesses in their family

Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2022. 1:27 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Kidney Association of Belize (KAB) is encouraging Belizeans in their twenties to know their risk factors when it comes to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal failure.

Speaking at a health fair this week, Elizabeth Mcintosh, Vice President of the KAB explained that diabetes and hypertension, two of the leading causes of death in the world are rampant in Belize, and are two of the major causes of CKD and renal failure. Genetic dispositions to both of these conditions can be passed down through family lineage.

“We ask our visitors if they know their family history because maybe now you’re not suffering from it, but since it’s hereditary you can’t run from it,” Mcintosh said.

Mcintosh added that a simple urinalysis to detect either protein or sugar in the urine can determine kidney function and she encouraged people to take advantage of opportunities such as health fairs where they can get testing done for free to know their standing.

The kidneys serve as a filter for the blood, separating nutrients from waste material and diverting them back into the body as well as out through urine, respectively. When the kidneys fail, the blood can be artificially filtered through a process called dialysis; however, the procedure can be costly and time-consuming. CKD and Renal failure can be avoided by drinking lots of water, eating healthy, and engaging in regular exercise.

Apart from maintaining a public education campaign to spread awareness about CKD and renal failure, the KAB, which has been advocating for kidney patients since 2003, assists kidney patients with getting catheters and fistulas for dialysis as well as financial support for their first few dialysis sessions.

In raising funds to support their patients the KAB is launching its annual raffle next week where the grand prize is $1,500 cash. Tickets can be obtained by calling either 615-6861 or 602-7389.


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