World Kidney Day, early detection of issues is key

World Kidney Day Founded in 2006. World Kidney Day is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. It’s observed every year on the second Thursday in March, the event is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. According to doctors like, Samhar I. Al-Akash, This year the date is Thursday, March 10th. The theme of World Kidney Day this year is “Kidney disease and children: act early to prevent it!”

He says, it is the goal of Driscoll Children’s Hospital Kidney Center to promote awareness of childhood kidney disease and help the community understand the impact of a kidney disease prognosis on children and their entire family.

Officials say, kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions such as acute kidney injury and end-stage renal disease.

Doctors add, children may be born with kidney disease or develop it later, with many children progressing to the point of dialysis and transplantation. About one-third of children with chronic kidney disease leading to dialysis or transplantation are born with some form of congenital renal disease.

About two percent of all end-stage renal disease patients in the United States are children under the age of 21.

One in three American adults is at risk for developing kidney disease. Twenty-six million adults have kidney disease, and most don’t know it. In 2013, more than 47,000 Americans died from kidney disease.

Dr. Al-Akash says, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Kidney Center established the only outpatient pediatric dialysis unit in South Texas in 2004 and the second dialysis unit in 2014. The center serves all 31 counties of South Texas. Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s Kidney Transplant Program has performed 91 kidney transplants to date, since performing the first kidney transplant in South Texas in 2007. The program is the only one in the nation to stand alone without an adult transplant program in the same city.

Dr. Al-Akash is the Head of Nephrology at Driscoll Children’s Hospital and the Medical Director of Driscoll Children’s Kidney Center & Renal Transplantation. He received his medical degree from the University of Jordan School of Medicine in Jordan. He did his fellowship in pediatric nephrology at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA in Los Angeles, and a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.
He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the sub-board of Pediatric Nephrology.

To draw attention to the day, Driscoll Children’s Hospital will be having a special observance in honor of World Kidney Day, which is Thursday, March 10th.

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