MYBUAHPINGGANG WEBSITE LAUNCH
A 2018 study revealed Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects 15.48% Malaysian, with around 50,000 patients undergoing dialysis treatment nationwide. With a significant number of patients from the B40 and rural population, access to practical medical information that is understood by layman is crucial for all kidney patients.
Patients battling kidney failure and their caregivers nationwide can look forward to easy access to comprehensive and accurate information, thanks to the launch of MYBuahPinggang.com website. This educational portal will empower kidney patients and their care-givers to improve daily care and quality of life. It features practical content on kidney diseases, treatment, dialysis, transplant and relevant issues such as Covid-19, anaemia as well as other developments which affect patients here in Malaysia.
The Medical Tweet Association #MedTweetMY developed the website with the support from the team of Nephrologists from the Ministry of Health and Universiti Putra Malaysia. National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF) and AstraZeneca Malaysia jointly hosted the hybrid launch event at Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel on 27 December 2020, which was officiated by YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah – DirectorGeneral of Health. Speaking at the official launch, NKF Malaysia Chairman Dato’ Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher described the introduction of the website as “very timely as patients can now stay safe at home and access all the information they need about their kidney health via the website.”
On that note, Dato’ Dr Zaki said, “Congratulations to “Association of MedTweetMy Malaysia” for developing this website with the support from the team of Nephrologists from the Ministry of Health and University Putra Malaysia. They have worked tirelessly on this website and made this project a reality.”
In the growing age of misinformation, a credible website is crucial for patients to receive accurate information towards making well-informed decisions.
He added that NKF will continue to support and work with the Malaysian Society of Nephrology and MOH, particularly to provide quality dialysis care to poor patients, jointly promote organ donation campaigns and carry out public education and awareness programmes to promote good care of kidneys.
In his speech, MOH’s Head of Nephrology services, Dato’ Dr Ong Loke Meng expressed hope that the website will be a one-stop online information centre that members of the public will find useful to learn more about kidney health.
“We will continue to provide accurate facts and information to facilitate patients and their families in selecting the best possible treatment,” he said. Also present at the website launch were MedTweetMY Founder and Chairman Dr Khairul Hafidz Alkhair; Malaysian Society of Nephrology President, Prof Dr Abdul Halim Abdul Ghafor and AstraZeneca Malaysia’s Country President, Dr Sanjeev Panchal.
NKF’s CODE: Life book “Masih Ada Yang Sayang”, a publication to promote organ donation and transplant in Malaysia was launched soon after the CODE:Life Webinar in November centred on the theme “Living Kidney Transplant”. More information on MYBuahPinggang is available at www.MYBuahPinggang.com and www.facebook.com/MYBuahPinggang
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE COVID-19 VACCINATION OF PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE IN MALAYSIA
We view with great concern the rising prevalence of Covid-19 in the country over past few weeks. We are particularly concerned on the impact of Covid-19 infection in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) especially those with CKD stage 5 who are receiving treatment with dialysis or kidney transplantation.
Experience worldwide have shown this group of patients are very vulnerable to serious complications of Covid-19 infection and there is a significant mortality amongst those infected. Similarly, there is increased risk of healthcare workers (HCW) attending to these patients acquiring this infection due to frequent encounters.
There are now about 50,000 patients living on dialysis or have a functioning kidney transplant in the country, the vast majority of whom are on haemodialysis (HD). These patients have impaired immunity either inherently from their illness or induced by medications, making them eminently vulnerable to complications should they be infected with SARS Cov-2 virus.
The financial impact to a patient and his family, the staff and to the HD centre’s management once a Covid -19 infection occurs is huge. There are tests for the virus to be done, PPEs to be donned, and the affected centre has to be sanitized. Th emotional strain on patients and staff once a centre has an infected patient is unmeasurable. We thank the Ministry of Health’s nephrologists and their HD units for accepting most infected HD patients from the private and NGO centres. Patients on HD and the staff looking after them are particularly vulnerable. They stay in a confined space for long hours and any undetected infection amongst them can have disastrous consequences. Presently all HD centres follow stringent guidelines set by national and international bodies to prevent cross-infection. Haemodialysis staff are specialized nurses and if infected, they have to be quarantined, reducing the centre’s capability to look after the patients, as they are not readily replaceable.
We now know that the government will start vaccination against the virus soon. We hope the Ministry of Health will give special priority to the patients with CKD.
This will reduce the overcrowding in the Ministry of Health’s HD centres and help return to some normalcy in the HD centres in the private and the NGO programs.
We urge priority be given to the following groups:
We are happy to assist the Ministry of Health in the vaccination program. The National Renal Registry of the Malaysian Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia can assist in disseminating information as well assist the Ministry in scheduling vaccinations.
Joint Press Statement by:
Dato’ Dr Zaki Morad, Chairman National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia
Prof Dr. Abdul Halim bin Abdul Gafor, President Malaysian Society of Nephrology
Dr Rosnawati Yahya President Malaysian Society of Transplantation
CHINESE NEW YEAR IN NKF ALOR STAR
Pusat Dialisis NKF-Alor Star has always been one of the main beneficiaries of The Lions Club of Alor Star (Host). On 8 February 2021, in conjunction with Chinese New Year, Director Lion Ng Ah Kheng and President Lion Jesmond Tan presented a total of 57 ang paos and 60 packets of ‘Julie’ biscuits to Centre Manager, Sister Ang Bee Moy.
These generous Chinese New Year gifts were then distributed among the patients in the dialysis centre.
WORLD KIDNEY DAY 2021 WITH A VIRTUAL FORUM ON 13 MARCH 2021
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients in Malaysia are now able to live well with their condition, thanks to the advancement of medical science and technology, particularly in the area of nephrology. The country has achieved significant milestones in delivering effective kidney disease management and treatment for CKD patients – even those who have undergone transplants, with less adverse side effects on patients.
“This has offered a glimmer of hope for the longevity and survival of many,” said Malaysian Society of Nephrology (MSN) president Prof Dr Abdul Halim Abdul Ghafor, at the World Kidney Day (WKD) 2021 virtual forum recently. The forum marked the national-level WKD 2021 celebrations officiated by Tan Sri. Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah, Director-General of Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
Dr Halim stressed on the importance for families to receive adequate support. With this year’s World Kidney Day celebrations themed “Living Well with Kidney Disease”, the organisers – National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF), Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia and MSN hope to provide awareness and educational support for people living with CKD and kidney care communities.
The virtual forum enjoys over 26,000 views to date and can be viewed again on MyBuahPinggang’s Facebook page as well as NKF’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nkfmy) and YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/nkfmy). The event was aimed at empowering the public to lead healthier lives and promote more effective disease management for kidney patients.
In his official address, Dr Noor Hisham highlighted that there are more than 40,000 renal failure patients in the country currently undergoing dialysis treatment. He warned that if current the trend persists, as many as 106,000 Malaysians will require dialysis treatment by 2040. “What is more worrying is that 30% of the patients are below 45 years old and undoubtedly this would adversely impact the country’s social-economic sector!” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham also urged CKD patients and the public to register for Covid-19 vaccination to protect themselves and the community.
NKF chairman Dato’ Dr Zaki Morad added that equally alarming is that the prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure (BP), heart disease, stroke is also on the rise.
“Sixty one percent of new dialysis patients are diabetic, while 18% suffer from high BP, largely due to unhealthy eating habits and the absence or lack of an active lifestyle. CKD, as we know, comes without warning or symptoms. Often enough, it is only when 90% of the kidney has been damaged that signs emerge. That is why regular health screenings are crucial for early detection,” he said.
The virtual forum featured the country’s leading nephrologists who shared insights on kidney health and latest developments in kidney health management and treatment. The informative sessions covered topics such as “Facts and myth about kidneys” and “Kidney Impairment: Are you at risk?”
CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world to mark the contributions made by nurses to society.
On 16 and 17 June 2021, our nurses at Pusat Dialisis NKF – Kelab Lions Alor Star (Alor Setar) decided to lift up the spirit of their patients and appreciate fellow colleagues by organising a simple yet meaningful party with some light refreshments and ‘Tupperware’ tiffin carriers’ giveaway.
Despite the current pandemic, our nurses continue to work round the clock to take care of our dialysis patients – a true mark of dedication to their profession indeed.
THE NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION’S CODE: LIFE WEBINAR (21 AUGUST 2021)
In a bid to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation, the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF) recently organised a Community Organ Donation Drive (CODE): Life Webinar themed “Living Kidney Transplant”. The webinar was moderated by Dr Maisarah Jalalonmuhali, a consultant nephrologist and physician from University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and featured a wide-ranging discussion on the realities of living with kidney disease and the misconceptions surrounding organ donation. Other speakers included Dr Wan Zul Haikal Hafiz, medical lecturer and clinical specialist nephrology from Hospital Pengajar Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) as well as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients who shared their personal experiences of coping with the condition.
Kidney disease has become a serious public health concern for Malaysia in recent years. A study carried out in 2018 showed that the prevalence of CKD in the country is 15.48% − a significant increase from just 9.07% in 2011. CKD is categorised in five stages based on the progression of the disease, with endstage kidney disease (ESKD) or complete kidney failure in stage 5. Most ESKD patients will have to undergo dialysis, or wait in the hopes of receiving kidney transplant. At present, there is no proven treatment for reversing the effects of serious kidney damage.
Dr Wan Zul Haikal Hafiz explained that kidney transplant was an ideal treatment option to change the lives of ESKD patients. “We encourage donor transplantation from those whom the patient has an emotional tie with − not only from immediate family members like parents and siblings but also their spouse and extended blood relatives. We want to do the best for the patients and lower the chances of the donated organ from being rejected.”
Adding on, Dr Maisarah Jalalonmuhali urged patients who had willing donors, even if they are unrelated to come forward and consult a nephrologist. “Don’t be shy or conclude that the procedure cannot be done. If the nephrologist decides that the unrelated patient and donor can move forward with the procedure, they will be referred to an independent body called ‘Unrelated Transplant Approval Committee (UTAC)’ – with interviews conducted to ensure that there is no conflict of interests between the patient and donor. They will then decide if they can proceed with the transplant procedure.”
With deceased organ donation rates in Malaysia currently standing at just 0.86 donors per million inhabitants, ESKD patients have to contend with long waiting times for their transplants. Compared to receiving kidney transplants from deceased donors, those from living donors offer better outcomes and longterm survival for patients. Webinar attendees were also moved by the heart-warming sharing session with kidney transplant recipients as well as the inspiring stories of their generous donors. Sharing their struggles of living with ESKD, donor recipients highlighted the many ways their lives improved after a kidney transplant; from being able to enjoy an active lifestyle to being free from constant dialysis treatments.
One of the speakers for this session was Mohamad Rafi Mohd Isa, a teacher who described his arduous journey of living with stage 4 kidney disease for almost eight years – transforming the dialysis centre into a ‘playground’ for his children while he was hooked to a dialysis machine for a four-hour treatment, three times a week. He expressed his joy at getting a second lease of life from his wife, Nur Asyikin Mohamad Nadzri, who also shared her experience of being an organ donor. Echoing the sentiments of the other organ donor in the session, Nur Asyikin dispelled fears around being a living organ donor as she continues to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
Another kidney transplant recipient and his donor that were featured during the sharing session was Malaysian actor Mohd Eyzendy Aziz or famously known as Along Eyzendy, an ESKD patient and his wife, Hamidah Mohd Yatim – an ‘angel without wings’ that provided him a second chance at life. After undergoing surgery recently, both Along Eyzendy and Hamidah are grateful they got the opportunity for the life-saving procedure. This is a bond that will tie these two pairs of lovebirds together forever!
The informative online event was completed with an engaging Q&A session between the speakers and attendees. While a transplant is not a cure for kidney failure, transplant recipients will have a significantly longer and better quality of life. Members of the public who are interested in contributing towards this cause of helping patients with kidney failure can find out more through NKF’s website.