Awareness about kidney disease is vital

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To the editor,
Did you realize that:
Nearly 80 per cent of the over 4,500 Canadians on the waiting list for an organ transplant, are waiting for a kidney. Of those, 121 of them are right here in Nova Scotia. In 2011, nearly 35 per cent of the people who died while waiting for organs were waiting for a kidney (80 people).

Also, 35 per cent of kidney transplants are made possible by living donors, but:

– Donor rates have stagnated since 2006.

– The need for organs outpaces the supply.

– Kidney patients waited a median time of 3.8 years (2009-2011) for a deceased donor kidney transplant

That is why supporting education, prevention and early treatment programs for kidney disease; access to quality care and transplantation; and the Canadian Blood Services’ “Call to Action” recommendations for a nationally integrated system for organ donation and transplantation is vital.

During National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (April 20-25), you can make a difference to the health and well-being of Canadians by encouraging them to:

– get their kidney function tested

– sign their donor intent form and tell their loved ones of their wish to donate an organ.

Support awareness of kidney disease and organ donation.

– 1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease.

– In its final stage, known as end-stage renal disease, kidney disease is costly.

– Health care costs, for dialysis alone, registered at $1.3 billion in the year 2000.

– When indirect costs are factored in, the total burden is $2 billion.

In January 2014, The Kidney Foundation of Canada celebrated 50 years of service to an ever-expanding community of persons affected by kidney disease. On behalf of those individuals we serve and represent, we ask you help us increase public awareness and support of organ donation, particularly as a qualitative treatment – if not a cure – for kidney disease.

For more information, visit www.kidney.ca/atlantic or contact Keri MacIvor, Fundraising Co-ordinator, at 902.404.8099 or by email at keri.macivor@kidney.ca

Keri MacIvor

Kidney Foundation of Canada, Atlantic Branch, Nova Scotia

Organizations: Canadian Blood Services, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Fundraising Co Kidney Foundation

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia

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