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Patient Resources

Hypertension – A Silent Killer

High blood pressure causes over 7.5 million deaths worldwide, approximately 13% of all annual deaths. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 46% of Africans have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). This accounts for the highest rate of hypertension worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 75 million individuals live with hypertension. It was once considered a "disease of affluence"; however, in recent years, due to rampant urbanization and changes in diet...

A Primer on Managing Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease is defined as ongoing kidney damage for greater than 3 months.  It can be structural, electrolyte abnormalities, functional (decrease in glomerular filtration rate). The most common cause of CKD in Africa Hypertensive Neuropathy ( Hypertension) and Diabetes.Despite the increased prevalence of CKD, the National Kidney Foundation studies showed that there is no significant benefit of screening the general public for CKD. Yearly testing is however recommended for people with familial...

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Makes Another Case for Digital CKD Registries in Africa

Triage. It's been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began to rampage and change our lives forever, while adding a plethora of new terms into our collective lexicon. One such term we can expect to hear more frequently, as the  COVID-19 vaccine distribution picks up pace globally, is “triage”. Triage, in pre-pandemic terms, was most often used in the context of an emergency room, whereby patients are ranked and given care according to the...

“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” — Why Africa’s “next M-Pesa” must be in the field of chronic disease management

A stitch in time saves nine. Never has that saying been more apt than in the non-communicable disease epidemic, particularly chronic kidney disease, that is silently ravaging the African continent. Non-communicable diseases — also known in the medical community as "silent killers” — are a group of diseases whereby affected people suffer minimal or no symptoms (asymptomatic) in the early stages, then begin to experience severe, life-threatening symptoms in the advanced/late stages. An...

Diabetes & Its Long-Term Implications

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure worldwide. Yet, over 60% of adults in Africa who have diabetes do not know they have it -- the highest percentage of undiagnosed diabetes in the world. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that about 19.4 million adults in Africa are currently living with diabetes, and an additional 45 million are considered at “high risk” of developing diabetes. Unfortunately, the numbers are expected to rise in the coming...

Dialysis in Africa Costs 20x the Average Annual Income, So Why Was the World’s Largest Dialysis Company Bribing Government Officials?

“Make it make sense”, as one of the commonly cited refrains of 2020 goes. Make it make sense! In March 2019, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA (Fresenius), the German-based world’s largest manufacturer of dialysis products (and clinic operator), agreed to "pay about $231 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company paid bribes to public health and government officials in several countries to win or retain business." Some of...

Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease

You have probably heard of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), or “kidney failure” as it is often called. Did you know that CKD is currently the 12th most common cause of death in the world? In fact, CKD is expected to become more common in the coming years, as urbanization spreads globally at break-neck speed. The prevalence of CKD is increasing globally — rapidly rising in Asia and Africa (while declining in North America...

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