The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Malaysia celebrated World Kidney Day this past weekend in partnership with the Malaysian Society of Nephrology (MSN) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) represented by Minister, YB Dr Zaliha Binti Mustafa, who officiated the event at Dataran Nilai with 2,000 excited attendees. In line with this year’s theme “Kidney Health for All: Preparing for the Unexpected, Supporting the Vulnerable”, the event set out to promote a healthier lifestyle for Malaysians through a series of fun-filled activities including a 5KM Fun Run as well as free health screenings.
“We were elated when the theme for World Kidney Day 2023 was announced as our goal is to make kidney healthcare more accessible to everyone, especially to those who can’t afford it. Aside from the 1,700 dialysis patients receiving subsidised treatment courtesy of NKF, there’s a larger message about practising a healthy lifestyle that Malaysians need to consider. The reason we want to promote this is because prevention is always better than cure,” said Dato Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher, Chairman of NKF Malaysia.
Minister of Health, YB Dr Zaliha stated that one in every seven Malaysians is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) with over 9,000 new patients having to start dialysis treatment every year. “Accordingly, the government is very committed to fighting the increase of NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases) and focusing on the prevention of CKD under the National Health Agenda. World Kidney Day reminds us to further strengthen the government’s commitment to chronic kidney disease prevention programmes,” she added.
One of the main causes of CKD is diabetes as it is the main cause of 70% of new patients that undergo dialysis. According to the International Diabetes Federation, as many as 2.24 million Malaysians are diagnosed with diabetes which makes the situation surrounding CKD concerning. The National Kidney Foundation looks to bring the reality of the situation to the forefront as a measure to curb the incline in kidney patients.
In regards to the activities at the World Kidney Day 2023 celebration, MasterChef Malaysia Season 1 Champion, Dr Ezani, conducted a cooking demonstration of easy-to-make and healthy dishes. This was followed by The Kidney Chef competition where contestants were challenged to replicate these dishes and ultimately be judged by the champion herself.
Attendees were also able to participate in the Hula Hoop challenge and Zumba session as well as indulge in delectable refreshments at the variety of food trucks situated there for the day. Activities were plentiful for children as well with various game booths, colouring contests, face painting as well as a spirited performance by a clown and balloonist.