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06 December 2013
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HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Patronizes the Medical Awareness Campaign Against Renal Diseases
10 March 2012
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Supervisor-General of Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, has given his orders to provide proper means of transport for the inpatients of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases.
In an announcement made after his patronage of the Medical Awareness Campaign Against Renal Diseases, organized by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases, in collaboration with Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz made clear that it goes without saying that the Charity Association cannot incur the responsibility of treating all the Kingdom's renal patients. “It is very unlikely,” he affirmed, “that any association in the world could ever treat all renal patients. Granted the foregoing, it should be noted that the Association's role is complementary and integrating with the MOH's role. Right now, we are treating some 700 patients around the Kingdom, and looking forward to expanding this program very soon.”
Prince Salman called upon the rich and philanthropists to donate and take part in the accumulation of the necessary funds for providing better services for patients. “To date, we've managed to cover nearly 9.8 of renal patients throughout the Kingdom,” he stated.
Meanwhile, His Royal Highness underscored the importance of mass media in delivering awareness messages and educational campaigns, seeking to accomplish the desired objectives, not to forget the citizens' pivotal role in bringing success to such campaigns. When they realize the risk of such diseases, they will interact positively with the ongoing awareness efforts.
He went on to say that the success of the Association's awareness programs and campaigns will entail the promotion of people's knowledge of the disease, its risks and the patient's suffering.
As for the sufficiency of SMSs as a funding source for the treatment of renal patients, Prince Abdulaziz pointed out that SMSs provide the greater part of the dialysis program funding. For sake of clarity, he explained that there are about 450.000 participants, aside from the SMSs received by the Association every day. He also called upon mass media to make every effort to foster the monthly SMS-participation, since it is more stable and secure from the economic viewpoint, and, hence, enables the Association to meet its commitment towards patients.
Speaking of the remarkable increase of renal patients in recent times, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, attributed this to the rapid population growth in the Kingdom, as well as unhealthy lifestyles. He pointed out that such awareness programs and campaigns as the campaign against renal diseases, organized by the MOH and charity associations (among which Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care is first and foremost), are basically intended to deliver the proper educational message to all segments of society, with a view to reducing the incidence of the disease over the upcoming years.
In the same context, Dr. Al-Rabeeah denied all the allegations accusing the Ministry of dodging the responsibility of the treatment of renal patients, and throwing it wholly on the shoulder of charity associations, stressing that there is a complete coordination and integration between all sectors in this regard: the public, private and charity sectors. “The Ministry,” he said, “is keen to increase the number of kidney centers and dialysis units every year. The Ministry has opened 7 new kidney centers this year, to be added to the MOH's 134 centers spread throughout the Kingdom.”
For sake of more clarity, Dr. Al-Rabeeah explained that the Ministry has launched the first to purchase the service from the private sector, at a total cost of SR 180 million; which is reckoned a substantial development in dialysis centers. Needless to say, this reflects the Ministry's firm keenness to provide a comprehensive healthcare service, in cooperation and coordination with the relevant bodies.
Concerning the establishment of psychological support units for renal patients, Dr. Al-Rabeeah revealed that there are already psychologists and social workers in all dialysis centers throughout the Kingdom. “The Ministry will study any proposals meant to provide best-quality services for patients, and bring into effect the Ministry's slogan: Patient First,” Dr. Al-Rabeeah added.
Dr. Al-Rabeeah, went on to say that the Ministry has adopted a peritoneal dialysis program, in accordance with a scientific methodology, so as not to affect patients' health.
In his speech delivered before the campaign, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, for his part, said that kidney awareness campaigns are being launched nowadays in over 75 countries around the world on the occasion of the World Kidney Day (WKD), meant in the first place to raise the awareness of all society members, and encourage them to take the necessary precautions and preventive actions to avoid the chronic kidney diseases (CKD). This could be brought about by early detection of the disease, and treating the risk factors, most significantly hypertension and diabetes.
Prince Abdulaziz went on to explain that hypertension patients and diabetics are expected, by 2025, to mount to 300 million patients, with an increase of about 70% of the current rate. These patients are three times prone to the risk of CKD as normal people. Also they are ten times prone to death by heart attacks or strokes as normal and healthy people.
“Renal failure has become a distressful global phenomenon,” His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman continued. “WHO's statistics show that there are over 500 million CKD patients around the world; out of whom about 1.500.000 patients live on dialysis or post-transplantation rehabilitation. These numbers are expected to increase, considering the continuously increasing number of the cases suffering from the diseases causing CKD. It is projected that, over the upcoming ten years, this number will double. It is for this very reason that WHO launched the World Kidney Day to remind the society members of the hazardous risk of this silent disease which damages the kidney cells, leading up to full-fledged renal failure, without any remarkable symptoms.”
“Fortunately,” Prince Abdulaziz added, “early detection of CKD is feasible and available even in primary healthcare centers. Such an examination, albeit inexpensive, is crucial for the detection of kidney problems, and enables us to delay or put an end to the development and deterioration of the kidney problems leading to renal failure, in addition to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by prescribing the drugs proper for adjusting blood pressure and sugar, as well as the improvement of lifestyles, including the quality of food. By early examination, and following the proper therapeutic program, patients' lives could be saved, Allâh willing. Moving on from the health aspect to the financial aspect, it should be noted that prevention is very much cheaper than treatment. WHO estimates that, over in the course of the upcoming ten years, treatment of kidney disease will be such costly that the kidney transplantation surgery, for instance, could cost a trillion US dollars.”
“Since the Kingdom will be committed to the same costs as any other country,” Prince Abdulaziz added, “Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care (Kellana), as well as the Ministry of Health, are keen to organize this event every year with the aim to raise the society's awareness of kidney diseases, their causes and ways of early detection, by way of field visits, regular examinations, dissemination of educational brochures and organizing lectures and workshops.”
As his speech drew to a close, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman extended his thanks to the Ministry of Health, represented by His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, for its keen interest in maintaining the health and well-being of Saudi citizens and residents, especially CKD patients. He also thanked all those involved in organizing this campaign from the employees and officers of Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, and Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases. In the end, he extended his thanks to the Association's partners in all mass media for their cooperation and support aiming to accomplish the Association's objectives and deliver a proper (awareness & educational) message to the whole society.
For his part, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, said, “The Ministry of Health, owing to the unstinting support provided to it by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, May Allâh protect them, witnesses a substantial paradigm shift in a large diversity of health developmental projects and programs. The Ministry has always been keen to provide best-quality services, by fostering institutional work based on teamwork, as well as prompting the spirit of constructive and fruitful cooperation between Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care and the Ministry of Health, represented by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases. This campaign could be seen a manifestation of this cooperation.”
Dr. Al-Rabeeah also revealed that MOH struggles against several challenges and impediments, most notably changing the lifestyle which gave way to the increase of chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiac diseases, hypertension and renal failure. Among the challenges also, he added, is the population growth and the vast area of our beloved Kingdom, as well as the increase of treatment costs, etc. Nevertheless, the Ministry spared no effort, and enlisted all its capabilities and potential to provide best-quality healthcare services, with a view to realizing the aspirations of all the Kingdom's citizen's and residents.
Dr. Al-Rabeeah emphasized that the best investment would be in the prevention program and enhancement of public health, with the aim to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases, and, accordingly, ease the burden on the health sector. In this spirit, MOH has always seeking to support educational programs and awareness campaigns. Today, as we are participating in the World Kidney Day (WKD), we are looking forward to delivering its educational message to all segments of societies. It is worth mentioning, in this respect, that the Ministry has paid closer attention to the establishment and expansion of kidney centers, by providing, over the last year, 250 dialysis chairs and more than 1200 dialysis devices. Also, the first phase of purchasing dialysis services was approved, at a total cost of SR 180 million.
It did not escape Dr. Al-Rabeeah's notice to acclaim the effective societal and charitable role played by Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care in supporting and caring for renal patients, as well as the keen interest shown by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense and CEO of the Association, in following up the performance, activities and strenuous efforts made by His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Supervisor General of the Association, to that end.
Concluding his speech, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, prayed for Allâh to perpetuate stability in our dear Kingdom, and to protect its Wise Leadership and loyal people.
For his part, the Supervisor-General of Medical Awareness Campaign against Renal Diseases, and Supervisor-General of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases, Dr. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Sa'ran, welcomed the attendees, and said that this campaign coincides with this year's World Kidney Day (WKD), and is organized by Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, in coordination with Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases, under the theme: “Kidneys for Life”. The campaign will last for three days, as of this inaugural celebration.
Dr. Al-Sa'ran went on to say that, it is crystal clear that this year's theme: “Kidneys for Life” reflects, in the first place, the indispensible importance of this organ for humans' lives, and encourages kidney donation to save the lives of renal failure patients.
“It is almost beyond doubt,” Dr. Al-Sa'ran stressed, “that renal failure is a global health predicament, and a tough challenge confronting all countries. And, unfortunately, the Kingdom is no exception in this regard. Estimates show that the number of Saudis suffering from chronic kidney diseases (CKD), and using one of the two types of dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) are some 13.000 patients.”
“This requires us to give rise to such educational and awareness campaigns on the one hand, and, on the other hand, activate early detection of renal diseases programs,” he added.
Dr. Al-Sa'ran further expounded that, in this spirit, such events and campaigns have placed particular emphasis upon two aspects; the first is the educational aspect, as manifested in lectures, educational brochures and exhibitions. The second aspect is medical, by providing a clinic for examination and early detection of kidney diseases, as well as the other diseases causing kidney problems (i.e., diabetes, which causes about 34% of kidney diseases, and hypertension, which causes about 33%).
He also pointed out that one of the strengths of this year's campaign is the arrangement of a workshop for the physician working in primary healthcare centers on the most common kidney diseases (covering diagnostic, preventive, curative and follow-up aspects). The workshop has been accredited by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) as a continuing medical education workshop. It also involves field visits to a number of schools (of both boys and girls) to entrench the objectives of the campaign (the aforementioned twofold objectives: educational and medical). That is to be added to increasing the number of participating bodies and entities from all over the Kingdom (especially kidney diseases divisions).
In conclusion of his speech, Dr. Al-Sa'ran extended his most sincere thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, May Allâh protect them, for their generous, unending support and care for health services. He also thanked His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, CEO of Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care, and Honorary President of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center for Renal Diseases, for his unstinting support and generous gestures towards these people, who are dear to all of us. Dr. Al-Sa'ran expressed his gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, under whose auspices the campaign was launched, and His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, for their strenuous efforts aiming to provide best-quality health services for renal failure patients, and their firm keenness in such events and campaigns.
In an address by Mr. Hussein Al-Tamimi, a renal failure patient, delivered on behalf of patients, he extended his most sincere thanks to the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for its significant role in the provision of the world's most advanced technology in the field of renal treatment for all renal failure patients throughout the Kingdom. He extended special thanks to His Royal Highness the Minister of Defense, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, and all those involved in supporting renal failure patients.
Mr. Al-Tamimi went on to say that this disease causes patients much health, psychological, social and economic troubles. He said, “Allow me to take the opportunity of my presence here, amidst decision-makers, to unfold some of the problems and hardships we suffer from in our daily life: including transport difficulties to and from dialysis centers, since driving cars after undergoing dialysis poses an imminent danger to our lives. Also, we are looking forward to new dialysis centers, similar to this great center (i.e., Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Center, which were are all proud of) in western, southern and northern Riyadh. Among the problems, also, is the low capacity of dialysis centers if compared to patients, given the number of patients is on the increase. Consequently, all dialysis centers have become very congested.”
He added, “In addition, we are demanding and looking forward to increasing such campaigns and educational events in all the Kingdom's cities, regions and provinces. It should not escape my notice, besides, that many renal failure patients are low-income citizens, and cannot afford treatment. This particular issue requires closer attention and generous gesture from the rich and philanthropists who are, undoubtedly, very many in our benevolent country, and who spare no effort to provide a decent life for all fellow-citizens.”
Mr. Hussein Al-Tamimi concluded by saying, “I believe that Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care provides a role model in this respect, May Allâh reward them.”
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