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World Kidney Day: Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable!

An astonishing 5 million South Africans suffer from chronic kidney disease

World Kidney Day: Kidney Health for All – Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable!

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 500 million individuals globally suffer from chronic kidney disease, and an estimated 5 million South Africans over 20 years of age have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Even more startling, an updated 2022 study indicates this figure could be considerably higher with 10% of 800 million individuals affected by CKD.

“CKD is a “silent disease” as most patients are asymptomatic at the onset and early stages of the disease. Targeted screening of people at risk of developing CKD is therefore critical for early detection, prevention or slowing down of progression and timely management of CKD”, says Dr Fikile Tsela, Nephrologist at The Urology Hospital Pretoria.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive loss of kidney function over a period of months or years. Each of your kidneys has about a million tiny filters called nephrons. If nephrons are damaged, they stop working. For a while, healthy nephrons can take on the extra work. But if the damage continues, more and more nephrons will shut down. After a certain point, the nephrons that are left cannot filter your blood well enough to keep you healthy. When kidney function falls below a certain level, it’s considered kidney failure and affects your whole body, making you feel very ill. Untreated kidney failure can be life-threatening.

Kidney failure in South African adults is mainly due to inherited Hypertension (60-65%) or Type 2 Diabetes (another 20-25%), with the black population being four times higher than other groups due to the high incidence of Hypertension.

You can lose up to 90% of kidney function before experiencing any symptoms and most people don’t have any symptoms until CKD is at an advanced stage.

Signs of advancing CKD include:

  • Swollen ankles.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Blood in the urine and foamy urine.

Chronic kidney disease does not just disappear and can progress to kidney failure. Blood and urine tests are performed to check for kidney disease, followed by the required treatment. The earlier CKD is detected, the better your chances of receiving effective treatment.

In observance of World Kidney Day, The Urology Hospital will be hosting free screening and exhibitions for the public on the 10th of March 2023 from 10h00 to 14h00.

Address: The Urology Hospital, Pretoria entrance, outside.

Screening criteria:

  • Hypertensive.
  • Diabetic.
  • Family history of kidney disease.


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The Urology Hospital, Pretoria

The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, is the only urology centre of excellence in Africa. With more than 20 urologists under one roof, using the latest in highly specialised technology as well as specialised urology trained nursing staff, it offers unparalleled expertise in its field. In addition, the hospital maintains its association with the academic world to ensure ongoing research, medical education and training and development in the field of urology.

The hospital prides itself on being at the forefront of technology. It was the first hospital in South Africa to perform robotic surgery, implement a robotic pharmacy picking system and now has one of only a handful of 3D laparoscopic surgical units in South Africa. The hospital has undergone major renovations and now offers 127 beds and eight theatres.

The Urology Hospital not only cares about patients and staff, but also for the community, undertaking numerous Corporate Social Investment initiatives throughout the year. The hospital and staff work together to assist selected charities, including donations to The Clothing Bank, uniforms for Sunnyside Primary School and stationery for Balebogeng Primary School.


What we Do

Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 


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