Kidney Health Australia has called for increased education, awareness and support to aid in the early detection of chronic kidney disease.
The call has been made in Kidney Health Australia’s Kidney Health Week, which runs from Kidney 26 May to 1 June. The week highlights the need for greater awareness by urging Australians to take an online risk assessment for kidney disease at www.kidney.org.au. Without an improvement in early detection, many cases of kidney disease will continue to be diagnosed too late – when dialysis and transplantation are required for survival.
The Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP and the Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Peter Dutton came together for the official launch of Kidney Health Week announcing the addition of a kidney function test to the annual cycle of care for those with type 2 diabetes under the Practice Incentives Program would commence on the 1st of October.
“Chronic kidney disease is a major health problem that is thought to affect around one in seven Australians, although the exact number is unknown as many people remain undiagnosed,” Ms Plibersek said.
Peter Dutton emphasised the importance of bipartisan support for Kidney Health Week while encouraging Australians to assess their risk of kidney disease.
Currently in Australia nearly 11,000 people are on dialysis, over 1,000 are waiting for a kidney transplant and over 54 die with kidney-related disease every day. Despite these confronting statistics, chronic kidney disease remains low on the radar of many Australians. About 10 per cent of Australians have some sign of kidney disease yet the National Health Survey shows that less than one per cent of the community know they have the condition as the disease shows no symptoms. Without an improvement in early detection, many cases of kidney disease will continue to be diagnosed too late, when dialysis and transplantation are required for survival.