Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. partners with Health leaders and patient organizations representatives for the National Kidney Month celebration highlighting It Starts With U: Get CheCKD disease awareness event

Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD, is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines. The National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) has said that one Filipino develops chronic renal failure every hour. There is an estimated 2.3 million Filipinos currently diagnosed with CKD. Other recent projections show that 1 in 10 Filipinos will develop this deadly disease.

What’s even more alarming is that few symptoms appear during its early stages, and people only realize that they have CKD when the condition is already in its advanced stages.

To spread awareness about CKD, patient organizations and medical societies came together to celebrate National Kidney Month by helping Filipinos detect the early symptoms of CKD and educating them on prevention with the event, It Starts with U: Get CheCKD

Held at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City on June 29, 2024, and supported by Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc., experts and partner organizations attended the event, including Rey Abacan Jr., the president and founder of Dialysis PH; Marimel Lamsin, the internal vice president of the Kidney Transplant Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KITAP); Karen Alparce-Villanueva, the President of the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO); and Dr. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete, the Executive Director of National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

Experts shared the prevalence and dangers of CKD, and how Filipinos can adopt simple yet effective measures to protect themselves. Early detection and prevention of kidney failure is vital, as it slows the disease progression, with the goal of preventing or delaying kidney failure.  

“CKD is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the Philippines and part of its danger is the difficulty in early detection since its symptoms don’t manifest until it's too late.

However, this condition can be easily mitigated by regular testing and adapting a few lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Maaliddin B. Biruar, a renowned nephrologist in the country and the key expert of the talk.

“Early detection and regular medical consultations will help prevent the progression of CKD in our patients, ensuring better quality of life and productivity. By addressing the risk factors of CKD, such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus, we can also reduce the socioeconomic burden of treating end-stage CKD,” added Dr. Liquete.

The event was also an opportunity for Boehringer to launch their new disease awareness website – It Starts with You - a web page containing data and information on CKD that patients and the public can access. “Accessible tools and education are essential in combating CKD. With tools like this website, we can empower Filipinos with the knowledge and understanding for detecting CKD early and managing it effectively. Early detection through accessible testing can significantly improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life for those affected by this silent but serious condition," said Dr. Greta Cortez, Head of Medicine for Human Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Philippines. Throughout the day, families enjoyed educational and entertaining activities at different zones where they checked for CKD and learned the importance of adopting healthy habits to prevent the disease.

Event participants enjoyed the kidney-shaped game room called Check Your Choices. Participants went down different paths with each room challenging their health and lifestyle choices. It was a fun, engaging game to teach Filipinos how intentional habits can build a healthier life.

“We are happy to see that more Filipinos are taking a proactive step towards taking care of their kidneys. We are committed to improving the lives of Filipinos with interconnected cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic disease which CKD is a part of. The best way to make lasting change is by educating our communities, healthcare providers, patients, and their families,” concluded Dr. Cortez.

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