This issue is also faced in well-to-do countries.
In developing countries like PNG, many struggle to provide the service.
This is where the PNG Kidney Foundation comes in. It has done a lot for the country since 2014 in terms of making dialysis affordable.
A very technical field, kidney dialysis requires machines that require training to operate but the foundation has come far.
“At PomGen (Port Moresby General Hospital) in the recent years, I’ve always been stressing about lifestyle changes, but diabetes seems to be a real wild fire in Port Moresby,” said specialist at PNGKF, Dr Steven Bogosia.
Many of the admissions were mostly secondary diabetes. High blood pressure sees second most cases all related to lifestyle diseases.
“Hypertension is still the second followed by obesity; people busting their waistlines. Many people eat more than they should eat. And obesity has now been proven, it has a direct link with kidney failure, it affects the insides of the kidney.”
Diabetes still tops as the main cause of kidney failure.
“Diabetes still remains the leading cause of kidney failure in Papua New Guinea… it is preventable but many of our people seem to go down that road and they develop kidney failure which is not a pleasant disease.”
But for Dr Bogosia, it is those over the counter painkillers that worry him.
“The common one that is procured many times but many people is Voltaren or Diclofenac because it’s a very nice medicine, when you take it all the pains go away,” stated Dr Bogosia.
“This is followed by Indocid. Indocid is another drug, it’s a very nice drug but the side effects are bad. Then you have Ibuprofen and Stop Pain. You have to be very careful of these drugs.
“Some people say Panadol does not work. Panadol does work but you have to take it regularly for it to work, it may not be quick but it will offer you comfort. But many people want their fast fix.”
Over the years, he has warned people against the use of these drugs but many still choose to use them.
“Be very mindful of the painkillers that you get. If its Panadol it’s safe, if it’s another thing other than Panadol, always ask your GP (general practitioner).
“If this is linked to kidney failure or not, that’s a very important point that I want to raise… we have real patients now who are on machines (kidney dialysis) so it’s a real warning to many Papua New Guineans.
“Many patients here now they come for dialysis.”
(PNG Kidney Foundation staff)