Even as we speak chronic kidney failure is taking a huge toll on lakhs of families in India. This is unfortunate because kidney failure is the easiest of all organ failures to manage. We have dialysis which can replace kidney function to a significant extent and kidney is the easiest solid organ to transplant. This sad situation is because of a number of factors, the most important of which is the lack of awareness at all levels of the society. Compared to similar patients in the developed world or even some other developing countries, kidney failure patients have extremely poor outcomes in India. As things today we are not even addressing the tip of the iceberg.
Given below are a few devastating statistics about chronic kidney failure in India.
17% of Indians have some form of chronic kidney disease. This figure was reached that in a study conducted by Harvard Medical School in partnership with 13 medical centres all over India. One third of the above people have advanced stages of the disease.
There are 60 million people with diabetes in India, more than any other nation on the planet. Sadly, the majority of them are either not diagnosed or poorly treated.
At least 30% of diabetics will develop chronic kidney disease because of diabetes.
People with the last stage of kidney failure (technically called Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5 or CKD-5) require dialysis and/or kidney transplantation as a life sustaining treatment. 40 % of such patients would have developed kidney failure because of diabetes.
2,00,000 new patients need dialysis treatment every year in India. but the unfortunate reality is that only 10 to 20% of them get proper treatment. The remaining are either not diagnosed or unable to continue proper treatment.
Statistics suggest that there should be almost 20,00,000 people on dialysis in India a sof today. The reality is that there are only about 1,00,000. The rest have been lost due to non-diagnosis and non-treatment.
The majority of chronic kidney failure patients are diagnosed in the last stage. Though proper statistics are not available, it is accepted that almost 50% first see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) only in the last stage.
There are 0.4 dialysis centers per million population in India. By contrast, Japan has 20 dialysis centres per million population.
Only 4,000 kidney transplants are performed every year in India. The United States with one fourth the population of India performs 16,000 such operations per year.
Kidney failure can affect people of any age group. While in the west, the majority of patients are elderly, in India kidney failure patients are much younger and affects predominantly the working population.