DAVAO CITY -- Dabawenyos should look after their health and take care of their kidneys, as the city continues to rank third in the country with the most number of kidney diseases since 2017.
Dr. Theresa Bad-ang, chairperson of the Renal Transplant Section of Nephrology of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), gave this advice during a press briefer Wednesday, in line with the National Kidney Month in the Philippines.
"The life that we have is dependent on the organs that we take care so kidneys (are) one of those organs na matiisin (kidneys are one of the organs that are patient). Hindi sila umiimik until sira na sila (They do not budge until they are worn-out)," Bad-ang said.
For ages 35 and below, Bad-ang said, kidneys are performing at 100 percent health, but "the time you reach 36, each year means less than one percent functionality."
Therefore, by age 55, people would have lost 20 percent of kidney's functionality, she said.
Those who are hypertensive lose two percent of functionality of their kidney each year, while those who are diabetic lose five percent of their kidney's functionality per year.
"There are so many people who are in dialysis right now. In fact, PhilHealth has released some PHP2 billion for patients in dialysis during the pandemic. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the most vulnerable group are the patients (with) kidney (diseases)," Bad-ang said.
However, Bad-ang made it clear that "kidney diseases can be prevented. We are making this awareness drive because PhilHealth releases a lot of its budget to treat patients with kidney diseases."
Bad-ang said PhilHealth spends over PHP2,000 per session for a dialysis patient.
On average, a patient receives dialysis treatment 90 days per year but the approved payment of benefit claims for hemodialysis services have recently been maxed to 144 sessions, as stated in the PhilHealth Circular 2021-0009.
This means that PhilHealth spends PHP185,000 per person per year for those who sought 90 sessions annually and PHP288,000 per person per year for those who acquired 144 sessions annually.
According to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), one Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour or about 120 Filipinos per million population every year.
Latest estimates show that around 2.3 million Filipinos have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In 2016, more than 36,000 patients were on dialysis treatment which reflects a 15 percent increase in the number of patients in just one year.
Bad-ang said SPMC is holding an organ donation awareness campaign for the entire month. (PNA)