Did you know that one in three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease due to rapidly rising rates of diabetes and high blood pressure? According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, about 30 million U.S. adults are estimated to have renal disease, and most are undiagnosed –kidney diseases being the ninth leading cause of death in the country.
One of the biggest problems with renal disease is that most people don’t catch it until they are too far ahead in the stage of the disease as there are no real symptoms. We can’t stress enough how important education and prevention are in fighting renal disease. This is why, as part of Abarca’s Better Care Community Program (BCCP), Consejo Renal of Puerto Rico was chosen as a beneficiary of grants and volunteer support to help them in their fight in decreasing the plight of renal disease in our communities.
The Renal Council of Puerto Rico (Consejo Renal in Spanish) was established to reduce renal diseases on the island through promotion, protection, and prevention. The organization resorts to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary service system that starts with research, early detection through renal screening clinics, education, treatment, complementary medical services, quality control, and the development of public policy.
Through the BCCP, Abarcans have contributed to the update of the electronic platform, eGFRFirst, that allows clinical laboratories throughout PR to report renal function data obtained from the Glomerular Filtration index, an important indicator to detect renal disease even in its early stages. A function to generate maps will also be added to the platform to visualize received data by region and municipality for the benefit of epidemiology reporting.
One of the project’s objectives is to promote the platform in collaboration with the Puerto Rican health industry. Additionally, Consejo Renal is looking to create alliances with health insurance plans to develop a patient care mechanism for patients that have been diagnosed with early stages of renal disease.
As part of our Better Care initiative, Abarca coordinated a series of educational and prevention activities related to kidney health for Abarcans. Participants learned if they were at risk, where to get the necessary tests, and how to keep their kidneys healthy.
If you would like to know more about Consejo Renal and its services and programs, as well as prevention and risk management of renal diseases, please visit Consejo Renal. Remember, prevention is critical, so let’s continue working on keeping our kidneys in top shape.
This blog was written by María Monserrate, Documentation & Training Specialist, and leader of the efforts coordinated in collaboration with Abarca’s Better Care Community Program and Consejo Renal.