We agree that a kidney transplant is the best treatment modality for people with kidney failure ("Why people don't donate their kidneys"; Tuesday).
It is equally important, if not better, for people to be educated and made aware of the consequences of kidney failure, so that more can be done through early detection, intervention and prevention.
Every day, four people lose the use of their kidneys. With an ageing population, this number will rise at a faster rate because of the increased incidences of diabetes and hypertension. This is a very worrying trend.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) urges people to come forward to give their loved ones with kidney failure a new lease of life through living donations, which are closest to a cure, so that they can have a better quality of life and less restriction in terms of diet and time.
As mentioned in the article, the shortage of kidneys for transplants is a worldwide phenomenon and the waiting list is long. As such, more can be done to promote kidney transplantation.
In this regard, the NKF launched the Kidney Live Donor Support Programme in 2009, where financial assistance is given to needy live donors.
The funding covers the costs of annual health screening and medical follow-ups; one-time reimbursement for loss of income; reimbursement of hospitalisation and surgical insurance premiums and provision of insurance coverage for the Group Living Policy, for which we recently doubled the sum insured to $200,000.
We are constantly looking at ways to enhance coverage, so that patients can be assured that costs will not be an obstacle for the donor's long-term medical follow-up.
The NKF will continue to invest in ways and means to educate people on the importance of kidney disease prevention.
We encourage people to make good food choices by cutting down on their salt and sugar intakes, exercise and go for regular check-ups.
The NKF will always remain committed to providing life and hope to needy patients afflicted with kidney failure.
Letter from Koh Poh Tiong Chairman National Kidney Foundation
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