World Kidney Day


World Kidney Day, celebrated on the second Thursday of March, is an initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations – World Kidney Alliance (IFKF-WKA). The date, which fell on the 9th this year, seeks to bring awareness about the importance of kidneys to overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease.

The theme of the 2023 campaign is: Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable, which focuses on the need to have a strong structure in place that can serve these patients normally in case of situations such as Covid 19, which hampered the care and diagnosis of people with kidney problems.

According to the Ministry of Health, it is estimated that about ten million Brazilians live with kidney-related diseases. The high incidence of hypertension and diabetes in the population corroborates the large number of cases, since it is the kidneys that are responsible for controlling blood pressure and these diseases overload the organs.

A nephrologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease, hypertension, and kidney stones, Dr. Anna Malkina (2021) defines chronic kidney disease as “a slow, progressive (over months or years) decline in the kidneys’ ability to filter metabolic waste products from the blood. The main causes are diabetes and high blood pressure.” In most cases, chronic kidney disease is silent and shows signs when it is already at a more aggravated stage.

High blood pressure and symptoms such as fainting, anemia, an altered creatinine concentration test, which increases when the kidneys lose their ability to filter the blood, were what led Heverson Pereira to seek care and receive the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. “This is a result of what? Excessive work, poor diet and poor sleep quality, all of this together turned my body into a bomb that would explode at any time,” he said.

Heverson, better known as Japa da Fuel to members of Guarapuava’s innovation ecosystem, was less than 30 years old when he found out that he would need to undergo hemodialysis because his kidneys were no longer functioning normally. “My creatinine rose to 19 (men should be between 0.7 and 1.3mg/dl) and my doctor said I needed to do hemodialysis urgently or I would die,” he explained.

Hemodialysis is a treatment that filters toxins in the blood, from a machine, as if it were an artificial kidney, and according to the 2021 census, almost 150,000 people do hemodialysis in Brazil. “The first session of hemodialysis is the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” he pointed out.
After six months of hemodialysis, he got a compatible donor, his sister.

Donating is an act of life, and in the case of kidneys, it is possible to receive the donation from a living individual and both live well. “My sister who donated to me, today she is 100%, she works, she has a totally calm and healthy life”, he says.
After all this process, years later, despite needing to take some care and take immunosuppressants for the body not to reject the organ over time, Heverson has a good quality of life.

In Brazil, according to the Ministry of Health, kidneys are the most transplanted organs. There were 4,831 procedures in 2021 and 5,368 in 2020.

For Heverson it is important to share his experience so that people pay attention to habits, health and prevent the disease. “Many people are thirsty now and don’t want to drink water, water is one of the most important factors, but it alone doesn’t do everything, a regular diet is important, physical exercises, and also keeping a routine of exams, so that you can identify if you have any problems”, he indicates.

Heverson is inspired for having connected with the world of entrepreneurship exactly in this delicate moment. In the need, for being removed, Heverson innovated and became an entrepreneur. Nowadays he works at Nevalley, startup nucleus in the region, he is connected to Cilla Tech Park with his company Fuel Agência Web and has a startup focused on health, ExNew-Exames Inteligentes, which seeks health care in a more agile and totally online way.

The idea of ExNew came up in a conversation with his doctor about the delay for the patient to receive the result of the exam and consult to receive the referral of what to do. The system will analyze the exams and send an alert to the patient if something is altered, informing the severity and giving the possibility to refer the exam to the doctor immediately. “This is the idea: to save as many lives as possible through this technology,” he explains.

Heverson recommends that everyone get tested regularly and try to change their habits. “Our health can’t wait, if you have any symptoms, don’t put it off until later,” he concludes.

Cilla Tech Park brings this awareness so that together we can have a healthy society and that together we propose

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