Reports on a website dealing with show that various religious groups such as Christians and Jews consider organ donation as a way of expressing compassion.
On 10th March people across the globe celebrated World Kidney Day which started in 2006. Each year different themes relating to kidney donation are raised. Samantha Volschenk, project manager of the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa in Cape Town said in 2009 there were 263 kidney transplants of which 40% of the donors were related to the recipients.
Innocent Molusi, a 13 year old from Roodepoort, had a kidney transplant in 2009 when he was 10 years old. “Innocent started swelling a lot. His whole body would change. When we took him to hospital, we were told that he had kidney failure and needed a transplant,” said his mother Gloria. Innocent was fortunate to have his father, William, who at 38 years of age was his donor.
Their blood types matched and today they are both living healthily. Who can donate? Donors need to be between the ages of 18 and the early 70s. This includes parents, children siblings, relatives and friends. A donor should be of a compatible blood type to the recipient and in good general health. Normally,someone who is suffering from high blood pressure (both treated and untreated), cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease or HIV will not qualify to be a donor.
To avoid developing kidney troubles, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by considering the following tips:
•Maintain a healthy blood pressure
•Limit intake of foods which dramatically increase the blood sugar and cholesterol levels
• Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
• Avoid adding too much salt to your diet
• Minimise stress
• Have a regular exercise routine.
• Limit medications to those prescribed by your family physician
TYPES OF FOOD RECOMMENDED AFTER A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT:
1. MAGNESIUM – This is found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grain. good sources of magnesium include green vegetables– spinach, broccoli, peas and cabbage, as well as wholemeal or wholegrain bread.
2. PHOSPHATE - This is found in protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, cheese, yoghurt, milk, soy milk and custard.
3. POTASSIUM – This is found in fruit, vegetables and dairy such as dried fruit, fruit cake, fruit bars, fruit loaf, vegetable juices or nectars and potato chips.
4. FLUIDS - Your fluid requirements after a kidney tranplant are increased to assist the kidney in filtering waste and clearing out toxins
By: Nikiwe Titus