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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 01:33 GMT
Kidney campaign targets minorities
Nurse and patient
Minority groups have a higher rate of kidney disease
The high rate of kidney disease among Britain's minority ethnic communities is being targeted by campaigners.

More than 100,000 people in the UK are currently being treatment for kidney disease.

But research shows that people from ethnic minority groups are three to five times more likely to suffer from it than those of European origin.

There is a dire need to highlight to ethnic communities the higher risk of developing kidney failure

Ali Bakran
Transplant surgeon

People of South Asian and African Caribbean backgrounds are most at risk as conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney disease, are more prevalent in these groups.

Louise Cox of the National Kidney Research Fund said awareness of the disease was often very low in spite of the high incidence.

"Clearly much work needs to be done to further explore the reasons for the high level of kidney disease within ethnic communities.

"Our aim, through initiating a high profile awareness campaign, is to help improve the prognosis and reduce the excess rates of kidney disease among these communities," said Ms Cox.

Drop-in centre

The Fund's medical advisor, Ali Bakran, a consultant transplant surgeon, said there was a "dire need" to highlight the disease among ethnic minority communities.

Dialysis machine
A growing number of patients need dialysis

"The Fund through the ABLE project is committed to taking the message to these communities and as a surgeon from an Asian background, I feel an obligation to help and support the programme.

"I hope that the project will inform, educate and provide support for the ethnic communities and will eventually lead to a reduction in the currently increasing numbers of patients requiring dialysis and transplantation," Mr Bakran said.

The ABLE programme to be officially unveiled on Wednesday will be piloted in the Brent area of north west London early next year.

Members of the public will be able to have a variety of tests to check for symptoms of kidney disease at a special week-long drop-in centre.

The main programme is due to begin in Leicester later in the year.

See also:

05 Dec 01 | Health
'My battle with kidney disease'
24 Jan 01 | Health
Campaign for kidney care reform
15 Oct 01 | J-M
Kidney failure
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