AstraZeneca partners with Indian Association of Nephrology

This World Kidney Day, Indian Society of Nephrology (ISN), the largest professional organization of nephrologists in India dedicated to advancing kidney health worldwide and AstraZeneca, a science-led biopharmaceutical company, announced a multi-year partnership to create public awareness about kidney care and related health disorders, build education at primary care physician level on early diagnosis, prompt management and aid nationwide screening for at risk patients and general public to promote timely detection and holistic management.​

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has become a major cause of global mortality and morbidity. In India, the most common cause of CKD is diabetic nephropathy. Studies estimate that the number of patients diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) in India, who are either on dialysis or scheduled for transplantation is over 100,000 per year. It is also estimated that 9 out of 10 patients may not even know that they suffer from a kidney ailment.

Under this year’s theme of ‘Kidney Health For All’, ISN along with AstraZeneca aims to generate large scale awareness and educate people about ways to improve kidney health. As a part of this partnership, AstraZeneca under close guidance from ISN will facilitate ‘Project SEARCH’-a mass screening program for early diagnosis of CKD in diabetic or hypertensive patients who are at high risk of kidney damage. This campaign will be conducted at over 2000 physician clinics over a period of one month at multiple locations across the country and is expected to reach out to 2.4 lac patients. The society has nominated top nephrologists of the country as regional coordinators to provide the requisite scientific support and mentorship to participating physicians

ISN will also spearhead the analysis of the collected data that can be used to change the practice and influence policy makers. Dr AK Bhalla, President-Indian Society of nephrology and Chairman, Department of Nephrology at Sir Gangaram Hospital said “As per the India Chronic Kidney Disease registry results that were published recently by our group, there is a 38% increase in the proportion of deaths attributable to kidney failure between 2001–03 and 2010–13. This alarming statistic shows that there is a gap in the awareness, early identification and management of the disease. The Indian Society of Nephrology has been constantly working towards increasing the awareness levels among the general public about kidney related diseases as well as providing support to physicians through trainings and diagnostic support. And we feel that this partnership with AstraZeneca will enhance our efforts towards better kidney care in India.”

To bring down the overall burden of kidney diseases on our health systems, this partnership will also focus upon undertaking certificate programs by country’s top 30 nephrologists for about 1000 primary care physicians through three interactive modules. These will point towards deep education on key signs for early diagnosis, awareness and management strategies and relevant point of interventions. Dr Narayan Prasad, Honorary Secretary-Indian Society of Nephrology and Head of Nephrology at SGPGIMS, Lucknow added, “It is essential to catch kidney disorder symptoms early. Awareness towards early intervention is critical but it is equally important for all primary care physicians taking care of hypertensive and diabetic patients to screen for early kidney damage. Early intervention may retard the progression of kidney disease. Planning for the preventive health policies and allocation of more resources for the treatment of CKD patients is imperative for India”.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Anil Kukreja, VP- Regulatory and Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca India, said “Chronic Kidney Disease in simple terms means that kidney do not work at their full capacity which if ignored can lead to renal complications and sometimes failure. Our partnership with ISN is a firm step towards collaboratively reducing CKD related mortality and morbidity rate through patient & HCP education and improving kidney health for all. Under the aegis of ISN, we will be able to impart right education amongst public so that they understand that early detection is really crucial to slow down progression to improve long term health outcomes”.

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