The National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF) held its 15th Annual Patient Forum recently in Muar, Johor. The forum, entitled “Improving the Quality of Your Life” has successfully benefited 425 dialysis patients in the southern region and their caregivers.
The NKF Patient Forum is an initiative started by NKF’s Welfare Department since 2003 as an information and experience sharing platform in terms of End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF) management, with topics ranging from managing and treating kidney disease to guidance on adhering to healthy habits physically and mentally.
“As the leading non-profit organization that provides dialysis treatment in Malaysia for over 50 years, NKF established the Patient Forum to provide the patients and their caregivers with information and advice that they need in one platform. Through this forum, we hope to safeguard the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of the patients,” said Dr Lee Wan Tin, Member of NKF’s Board of Directors.
The Forum featured five nephrologists and a dietician who shared vital information about kidney disease as well as improving the dialysis patients and caregivers’ knowledge on managing the disease with a healthy lifestyle and medical treatment available.
Dr Yia Hua Jern spoke about ‘Numbers in Dialysis – What Patients Should Pay Attention To?’ which created awareness regarding the important health markers to take note of as a way to find out the effectiveness of their dialysis treatment from the perspective of haemoglobin, calcium, phosphate, and potassium levels in the body.
Dr Tan Li Ping spoke about ‘The Role of Patient in Caring for Fistula’ which educated patients on the care for fistulas to maintain optimal blood flow for dialysis treatment. Dr Nor Fadhlina Zakaria spoke about ‘Kidney Transplant and Organ Allocation’ as an option to treat ESRF. She also commented that the rate of kidney donation in the country was still low, that only 1.3 per cent out of the approximately 30 million Malaysian population who registered as kidney donors.
On hand to motivate patients and caregivers to lead a positive and healthier lifestyle was dietician, Ms Kher Pui Ling, who spoke on ‘Eating Healthy’ and provided patients and caregivers with insights on how to make good food choices. Dr Lily Mushahar spoke about ‘Sexual Dysfunction among Dialysis Patients’. Dr Lily highlighted that dialysis patients can still enjoy a vibrant marriage and healthy physical relationship with their spouse. Meanwhile, Dr Tye Li Loon provided insights on ‘Improving Quality of Life through Dialysis Treatment’.
There are currently more than 50,000 dialysis patients in Malaysia with 7,000 new patients every year. It is estimated to double more than that by 2040, while NKF currently has over 1,700 dialysis patients receiving subsidized dialysis treatment in over 28 dialysis centres nationwide.
For more information about NKF or to donate towards the organisation’s efforts, please visit www.nkf.org.my or call 03-7954 9048.