On 12 March 2016, in conjunction with World Kidney Day 2016, the National Kidney Foundation, together with the Malaysian Society of Nephrology and the Ministry of Health jointly kicked of the World Kidney Day Family Walkathon. Held at Kepong Metropolitan Park in Kuala Lumpur, the event witnessed the congregation of more than 1,500 participants who came together to support the battle against kidney disease.
The event was also graced by Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Dr. Hj. Azman Abu Bakar, Director of Medical Development Division, Ministryof Health Malaysia. Covering a distance of 3.5km which took participants on a scenic route around the vicinity of the Kepong Metropolitan Park lake, the walkathon was flagged off at 8.00am by YBhg Dato’ Dr Hj Azman bin Abu Bakar.
Themed “Kidney Disease & Children”, the event championed the prevention of kidney disease, especially amongst children, with a special emphasis on the need to encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst youngsters and early action to keep the onset of kidney disease at bay.
“Given the growing sedentary lifestyle among the Malaysian communities, we have witnessed the onset of kidney disease among more and more people, even among the youth. Even seemingly healthy kids may be at risk of kidney disease at an early age, so we urge everyone to be more aware of the symptoms of kidney disease.” said Dr. Wan Jazilah Wan Ismail, the Organising Chairperson of World Kidney Day 2016 Family Walkathon.
“This year marks the 11th anniversary of the World Kidney Day. Seeing the rise of the disease among younger patients globally, this year’s campaign is dedicated towards the prevention of kidney disease amongst the young. Parents were encouraged to be more involved with their children’s wellbeing,” she added.
Many participants and visitors were seen taking advantage of the complimentary health screenings, diet counselling and health exhibition offered at Kepong Metropolitan Park. Although educational, the event took on a carnival-like atmosphere of sorts with a myriad of fun-filled activities, especially tailored for children. These included a colouring contest, face painting, balloon castles, sand art and Mr. Red Bubbles the clown, who thrilled the young ones with his antics and special tricks.
World Kidney Day is annually observed globally on the second Thursday of March. Proceeds from the Family Walkathon will be channeled towards NKF’s efforts in raising awareness about kidney disease and providing treatment for Malaysia’s underprivileged kidney disease patients.
Pictures of the event are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nkfmalaysia/sets/72157665680518572