12 February 2012
Tamilnad Kidney Research (TANKER) Foundation has launched a mobile ambulance unit for kidney disease awareness and prevention programme. The unit will be equipped with ultrasound and auto analyser and will go around the State, screening the population for kidney disease. It is expected to be operational by World Kidney Day, which will be observed on March 8. The ambulance for the unit, built by Ashok Leyland, was donated by its vice chairman V. Sumantran on the occasion of his father S.G. Venkataramani's 80th birthday on Saturday.
TANKER's founder trustee Georgi Abraham said with the support of Madras Medical College (MMC) and the Madras Medical Mission, the Foundation planned to reduce the disease burden. The increasing rate of organ failure due to high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension was highlighted on the occasion. Dialysis as a replacement therapy was accessible only to about five per cent of those in need, making prevention of kidney failure a top priority.
A message from Dr. Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos, physician–scientist specialising in nephrology in Toronto, Canada, read out on the occasion by Dr. Abraham underlined the importance of control of salt in diet, as a public intervention.
MMC Dean V.Kanagasabai thanked Tanker Foundation for its effort at providing dialysis to over one lakh people since its inception 18 years ago. He said the population–level demand for dialysis was so high that the government sector was unable to meet the need, and voluntary initiatives such as that of the Foundation were crucial to fill the gap.
Mrs. Rajalakshmi Ravi, an adviser to the Foundation who would lead the mobile awareness initiative spoke on the need to sensitise the general public on the parameters to be monitored for good kidney health.