Kidney ailments affecting more children in Zimbabwe

By Abigirl Tembo Health Editor
KIDNEY ailments have become a major cause for concern among children despite the fact that the disease is usually associated with adults.
Our Health Editor took time to speak to some parents whose children are suffering from the ailment
Three children below the age of ten are currently admitted at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals having been diagnosed with kidney disease.
It is a parent’s worst nightmare, as the disease is relatively symptom free until it is well advanced.
“I never thought my child could be suffering from a kidney disease. He started swelling, getting weak and getting seizures until I was referred to Parirenyatwa where he was diagnosed with kidney disease, he was put on dialysis and is now recovering,” said one parent.

“It started with the swelling of the stomach, he was always in pain so we were referred to Parirenyatwa and he is now on dialysis we have begun seeing some notable changes on him as he gets his treatment,” said another parent.
Paediatric Nephrologist, Dr Privilege Makanda-Charambira reckons there is need for more awareness on the issue of kidney ailments among children.
“The symptoms for kidney diseases are very silent and sometimes you only get it right at the end of the spectrum but there are things you can pick up for example if you find out that the colour of your child’s urine is different sometimes the only thing that drives us to the hospital is when we see blood in our child’s urine, if you find out that the colour is now brownish, coke coloured that is now abnormal it means there is something wrong in this organ that is manufacturing your child’s urine. You need to seek treatment. If you find that your child is now having body swelling for children most of the time you find out that it is the face which swells. Even if your child is healthy go for a check-up even once a year,” he explained.
Government is also playing its part in reducing the burden on affected patients.
“We are happy with the support that we are getting from government because they are providing haemodialysis for free, they are also providing the consumables and that takes off a huge chunk of stress off our patients,” he added.
According to the World Health Organisation, kidney disease is ranked 48th on the top 50 causes of deaths in Zimbabwe with road traffic accidents on number one while HIV is 4th.