Dialysis in the Philippines

Kidney failure is one of top leading causes of death in the Philippines. Most people are quite aware that the only advisable medication to treat this condition is dialysis. The truth is, not all Filipinos are financially capable of having a regular dialysis. Even worse, the rate of Filipinos who develop kidney failure is slowly heightening. There is an estimated 120 Filipinos per million population (PMP) – which only means that there are 10,000 Filipinos who need to undergo various kidney treatments every year.

Dialysis is a kidney treatment that provides artificial replacement for the lost kidney function. Actually, one can resort to a kidney transplant provided that there will be donor. However, not all patients are able to choose the latter for some reasons like it’s risky or expensive. There are two types of dialysis that a patient might either have to go through. One is the hemodialysis and the other is the peritoneal dialysis.

Hemodialysis or HD is the process of cleansing the patient’s blood through removal of poisons and excess fluids. Waste products in the blood such as creatinine and urea are eliminated as well as the free water being produced when there’s a renal failure. This process lasts for about four hours and a patient has to undergo such procedure three times a week.

The other type of treatment is the peritoneal dialysis or PD. It is more complicated than the previous one. A tube will be permanently attached on the patient’s abdomen making the patient’s own membrane to act as an artificial kidney. A special fluid will flow through the abdominal cavity and will have to stay there for several hours. The process will then make the venom and excess waters be transferred from the blood to the special fluid, which is then drained out of the body. The treatment needs to be done three to four times a day. The good thing about this is that a patient can do this process at home provided that he has knowledge in using the facility.

In the year 2007, only 7,267 kidney failure patients were able to have a dialysis and the quarter of Filipino patients were believed to have just died. It’s year 2011 now and the rate of people being affected by kidney failure is hiking up. The problems should be addressed. This is call not only for the people who are able to provide financial assistance to the needy but also to those who have the the authority to develop the facilities used here to treat renal diseases – do something.