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DOH promotes healthy kidneys as CKD cases rise

By Kim Villafuerte

The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) celebrates National Kidney Month by educating people on kidneys and spreading awareness on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) with the theme, “Malusog na Bato Abot Kamay ng mga Pilipino.” The celebration is based on Presidential Decree 184, signed by president Fidel Ramos in 1993, declaring June as National Kidney Month.

In a press conference on June 11, Provincial DOH Officer Gladys S. Escote showed the difference between a normal kidney versus a damaged one and explained how kidneys function. According to her, kidneys remove wastes, dictate and control blood pressure, produce red blood cells that carry oxygen, keep the bones healthy and control the body’s pH levels. She concluded that keeping the kidneys healthy is highly important because of its many functions. Once an individual contracts a kidney disease, other parts of their body are also affected.

Furthermore, Escote discussed Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), also known as kidney failure which is when the kidneys slowly lose their function. During the early stages of CKD, few signs and symptoms of kidney damage can be observed. On the other hand, in the advanced stages, harmful levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste can already build up in the body.

According to DOH, here are tips on keeping kidneys healthy and preventing CKD: get regular check ups, be physically active, regularly check and control your blood pressure, quit smoking, take prescribed medications, regulate salt intake, eat healthy and avoid excessive drinking.

CKD is one of the major causes of death in the country. As shown by the data DOH released, there are 10,800 Filipinos suffering from CKD each year and around 30,000 to 40,000 of them require dialysis.

“No matter your age, getting to know your kidneys can help you lead a healthier life and may prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.” Escote said.


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