Malaysia has amongst the highest rates of kidney disease in the world, with over 7,000 people diagnosed with kidney failure every year.
“While a kidney transplant is often seen as an ideal solution for someone with kidney failure, the limited amount of donor kidneys available means that for most patients, regular dialysis treatment is the only real available option,” said Dato’ Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher, Chairman of NKF Malaysia.
For over 30 years, NKF has safeguarded the welfare of kidney patients by providing subsidised dialysis treatment, psychological support, as well as financial assistance and job placements. The non-profit also uses its funds to provide specialised dialysis training for healthcare workers, and carry out outreach and awareness-raising programmes on kidney disease.
“Since we started dialysis operations in 1993, we have delivered compassionate and holistic care to over 6,000 patients of all backgrounds across the country. Throughout the turbulence of this pandemic, we continue to treat approximately 1,700 people at 28 dialysis centres nationwide,” said Dr Zaki Morad.
“As a non-profit, the majority of our work is reliant on the generosity of our donors. Every year, NKF needs to raise approximately RM25 million to subsidise the cost of dialysis treatments for its patients.”
Dr Zaki Morad added that the pandemic has meant that even more dialysis patients are in a vulnerable state, particular those from lower-income groups. “Despite our own limited resources, we were still compelled to go above and beyond our usual mandate to address the socio-economic and public health disruptions caused by the pandemic,” he said.
NKF also assisted the Ministry of Health (MoH) by donating medical supplies, including surgical gowns, personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks. Being aware of the overwhelming number of patients seeking treatment in government hospitals during the pandemic, NKF loaned 58 haemodialysis machines and six units of the portable reverse osmosis (RO) water system to MoH, to ensure that kidney patients received proper treatment and care. In addition to this, NKF also took on more patient referrals from public hospitals nationwide, providing treatment to these patients on a complimentary basis.
“We hope more people will support us in our mission to save lives,” said Dr Zaki Morad.
To help kidney failure patients receive life-saving dialysis treatment, go to nkf.org.my/support-us/donations/. Donations can be made via bank transfer or e-wallet payments. Alternatively, members of the public can contact NKF at 03-7954 9048 to learn more about the organisation’s ongoing efforts. — The Health