As a way to raise funds and awareness about kidney disease Be Active Sports Management will partner with Bomaid and the Botswana Kidney Society to host the Up Kgale Hill Charity Climb on the 6th of August.
The event, which will involve climbing up the Kgale Hill, is also set to be a family wellness day. “We started this initiative as a way to create exposure for the Botswana Kidney Society,” said Be Active’s Kgomotsego Manewe when addressing the media at Princess Marina Hospital.
Giving a briefing on the kidney disease in Botswana the society’s Tshegofatso Rakgati said not so long ago even those in the health sector did not know much about the kidney disease. “Our knowledge was limited to text books,” she said. She said the number of kidney disease sufferers had grown significantly with 300 patients currently undergoing haemodialysis. “We do not have all the numbers of kidney disease sufferers,” she said. Rakgati said the disease is caused by among others; high blood preasure, diabetes, genetic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and certain prescribed drugs. She said young people doing drugs were most likely to be affected by kidney disease.
“There also seems to be a necessity for primary education on Kidney disease from an early age although statistics do reveal that Kidney disease is more common in adults.” She said the society was currently working on a nationwide programme that aims to create a platform for sufferers to share experiences with their families, friends, and the general public.
Bomaid Marketing and Sales Manager Beulah Mapitse said the company recognised the importance of working hand in hand with the Botswana Kidney Society to assist them the best way they could. “We intend to make this a long lasting partnership,” she said.
Sharing his experiences one of the kidney sufferers at the breifing expressed some of the major challenges faced by kidney disease sufferers across the country. “I am from Serowe but I started doing my dialysis in Francistown,” he said. “I then had to relocate again to Gaborone because of challenges with accommodation.” He said he had met people who had to travel at least a thousand kilometres to access services like haemodialysis. When speaking to Arts & Society after the briefing, Sonnyboy Otlogetswe adviced the public to consider donating kidneys to help sufferers. Otlogetswe has donated one of his kidneys and says his health has not changed much since. “I get to go for check-ups once a year to ensure my remaining kidney is still in the right condition.
To date, kidney disease has affected 10 per cent of the general population in the Western world. In Botswana, while there may be no statistics on the rate and prevalence of kidney failure in Botswana, trends indicate that the condition is on the rise. Sometimes reffered to as the ‘silent killer’, kidney disease is often diagnosed at a stage when the kidneys are damaged almost beyond repair and very little can be done. People still die from this disease as treatment does not always suffice. The media briefing was attended by sponsors for the event including Bomaid, Be Active and Insync media, founding members of the Botswana Kidney Society, the management of the nephrology clinic, medical practitioners and the media fraternity. Tickets for the event sell at P50 chilldren, P100 adults, P180 couples, and P450 per team of five.