Author(s): George L Bakris, Shaheen FA, AlKhader AA
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Abstract The prevalence of both acute and chronic renal failure is high in the Arab world. Data available on the exact prevalence of various renal diseases are very limited. Nevertheless, the reported prevalence of chronic renal failure is 80 to 120 per million population (pmp) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and 225 pmp in Egypt. This is in comparison with the reported prevalence of 283 pmp in Europe, 975 pmp in the United States, and 1149 pmp in Japan. Lower prevalence rates reported in this region could be due to underreporting. The economic burden of renal replacement on health care providers is enormous. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the estimated cost per annum incurred toward maintenance hemodialysis is US 19,400 US dollars and, considering that there are more than 7200 patients on regular dialysis in this country, the total expenditure is enormous. Such large amounts may be beyond the monetary capacity of many countries in this region because of limited financial resources. These figures clearly suggest that there is an urgent need to establish a massive prevention program. The strategy adapted should be innovative and imaginative and should be one that is maximally cost effective. Paradoxically, in the Arab world, we have a good opportunity to reduce the incidence of kidney failure (chronic and acute) substantially by appropriately chosen models. This is because many of the causes of renal failure are eminently preventable. In fact, a rough estimate is that these programs, if successful, can reduce the incidence by as much as 40\% (personal communication, Shaheen, 2003). It is worthy of mention that, in the Arab world, the budget for research is about 0.15\% of the national domestic product compared with the international average of 1.5\%. In this article, we concentrate on some of the main causes of renal failure in the Arab world that we feel can be prevented and suggest ways that can best address this issue.
This article was published in Kidney Int Suppl
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics