World Kidney Day is being celebrated today (Thursday, March 11, 2021) under the theme “Living Well with Kidney Disease.” This is a very important date on the annual calendar for Consultant Nephrologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital Dr. Twanna Browne-Caesar.
In official remarks for the occasion, Dr. Browne-Caesar urged persons with chronic kidney disease to aim for a balanced life, even in circumstances of restrictions on physical interactions that became necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She expressed an understanding of the fact that kidney patients and their relatives can become overwhelmed to the point where their entire lives seem to revolve around the illness, and said that this situation can be compounded by physical and economic constraints. However, Dr. Browne Caesar stressed the importance of seeking to break loose from the shackles of the condition to live as normal a life as possible with kidney disease.
The Consultant Nephrologist said that the process of patient education is paramount and that patients along with their loved ones and caregivers should participate in making decisions on patient well-being.
The Dialysis team at the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre helps persons with kidney disease maintain some level of normalcy in their lives – dialysis sessions are scheduled in such a way as not to prevent patients with jobs from keeping work commitments. This allows them to continue to exercise independence and autonomy. The team also accommodates requests for adjustments in schedules to allow individuals to attend important life events like graduation ceremonies for children and grandchildren, funerals and vacations abroad.
Dr. Browne-Caesar noted that dialysis patients face dietary restrictions but emphasised that even a bland diet can be made more appetising through tasty recipes and the use of healthy alternatives to traditional meals. Dr. Browne-Caesar highlighted the fact that younger persons with chronic kidney disease, who are often reluctant to disclose the fact that they are on dialysis, in general continue to be productive citizens.
Dr. Browne-Caesar pointed out that World Kidney Day activities for this year were severely curtailed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the high vulnerability of the target group. The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is making sure that patients with both chronic kidney disease and COVID-19/exposure to COVID-19 (including persons who develop acute kidney injury as a result of coronavirus infection) have access dialysis services.