Fifteen per cent or 4.2 million of the Malaysian population are at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), Director-General of Health Dr Hassan Abdul Rahman said yesterday.
He said there were eight high-risk groups, including those who suffer from diabetes mellitus, hypertension and people aged 65 and above.
“Check-ups and early preventive measures can help prevent a person from contracting the disease as early symptoms are unnoticeable,” he said after launching the Clinical Practice Guideliness (CPG) Management of Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults.
The book is distributed for free and can be obtained from state health clinics as well as state health departments.
This is the Health Ministry’s 66th publication on chronic diseases since 2000.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) Nephrology Department Head and Senior Consultant (Kidney) Dr Ghazali Ahmad said there were five stages to CKD and most patients only seek treatment at the final stage.
“The government spends almost RM760 million per year to treat CKD, according to Health Ministry statistics, and this does not include other costs incurred by the patients,” he said.
The Health Ministry needs 173 nephrology specialists each year to cater to 23,000 chronically ill patients and an additional 4,000 new CKD patients each year, he said.
He said 23,000 dialysis patients were registered for treatment nationwide until the end of last year, whereby 2,000 received kidney transplants in the same period.
“The country spends RM50 million each year for special medication associated with kidney transplants, excluding other costs,” he said.