Dr. Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan

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Dr Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan is the Vice President for National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Malaysia, a non-profit charitable organization strives to raise the standard of care to patients with kidney failure and those who are suffering from various kidney-related diseases.
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Dr Thiru juga adalah naib president bagi Yayasan Pinggang Kebangsaan (NKF), menurutnya, hampir 60 peratus pesakit kegagalan buah pinggang yang berdaftar dengan NKF berada di bawah kategori miskin dengan pendapatan isi rumah kurang daripada RM800 sebulan, manakala pesakit lain turut berpendapatan rendah. Di Malaysia, kebanyakan pesakit buah pinggang berumur sekitar 50 sehingga 65 tahun turut menghidap diabetes, mempunyai tekanan darah tinggi dan kolesterol tinggi.
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Naib Pengerusi NKF, Dr Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan berkata, sejak 46 tahun lalu, pihak yayasan menjalankan pelbagai usaha dalam meningkatkan kesedaran awam terhadap penyakit buah pinggang berikutan bilangan pesakit semakin meningkat setiap tahun menyebabkan yayasan memerlukan dana lebih banyak bagi meneruskan operasi . Menurutnya, hampir 60 peratus pesakit kegagalan buah pinggang yang berdaftar dengan NKF berada di bawah kategori miskin dengan pendapatan isi rumah kurang daripada RM800 sebulan, manakala pesakit lain turut berpendapatan rendah. Di Malaysia, kebanyakan pesakit buah pinggang berumur sekitar 50 sehingga 65 tahun turut menghidap diabetes, mempunyai tekanan darah tinggi dan kolesterol tinggi. Ini mencerminkan pengurusan yang lemah ke atas penyakit kronik kerana secara umumnya penyakit terbabit serius apabila gagal dikawal dengan baik, mengambil masa panjang iaitu 10 atau 20 tahun untuk menggagalkan fungsi buah pinggang. Meskipun pemindahan buah pinggang adalah rawatan pilihan bagi kebanyakan pesakit kategori ini, bilangan penderma organ yang sedikit di negara ini mengehadkan bilangan pemindahan organ yang dijalankan iaitu kira-kira 60 kes setahun, katanya ketika berucap di majlis pelancaran kempen 30 Hari Buah Pinggang Sihat anjuran Pusat Perubatan Sunway (SunMed) di Petaling Jaya, baru-baru ini.
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Dr Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan, Vice Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia and SunMed consultant nephrologist said that Malaysia s abundance of delicious food was partly to blame. He called diabetes outside of genetically-inherited types a lifestyle disease . Due to cultural cooking practices, our foods are often rich in carbohydrates and refined sugars. Take rice, for example, he cited. He encourages people to consume less starch, and fill their diet with more grains, vegetables and fruits. We need to relook at what we put into our mouths. Exercise is also important, but too often than not we give excuses like not having enough time after being stuck in traffic, feeling tired we need to make time for it. Think of health as a long-term investment, he advised. Dr Thiru states that in Malaysia, new kidney failure patients are mainly aged from 50 to 65 years old and are diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It generally takes 10 to 20 years of uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure to damage the kidneys irreversibly. While kidney transplants are the preferred treatment for kidney failure patients, the relatively low donor numbers means there are few transplants done only about 60 a year in Malaysia, he added. Aside from educating the public, the campaign also aims to raise funds to help NKF continue their cause.
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End-stage kidney failure patients have to spend their whole lives going for expensive and time exhausting dialysis treatments while waiting for the rare chance of finding an organ donor. For many end-stage organ failure patients, organ donation remains their last chance of survival but the limited availability of organ donors and misconceptions around organ donation have made finding a suitable donor difficult, said NKF vice-chairman Dr Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan. The organ donation booth is the newest addition to NKF s continuous efforts to advocate for the early detection and prevention of chronic kidney disease. Since the organ donation campaign as supported by Sunway Group started in January 2015, NKF has received 1,033 organ pledges from the public.
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