Abu Dhabi: In an initiative to raise public awareness regarding kidney disorders, free medical check-ups by doctors and nurses will be on offer to the public at Abu Dhabi Khalifa Park on Friday.

The event marks the second annual World Kidney Day (WKD) 2008. According to experts, the most common cause of Chronic Renal Failure or Chronic Kidney Disease in the UAE is diabetes.

"When the kidney function falls to less than 10-15 per cent, a person is considered to have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and some form of renal replacement therapy is required to sustain life and maintain health. On World Kidney Day, we wish to raise public awareness and provide education about the importance of prevention and early detection of kidney diseases and hypertension to keep our kidneys safe and healthy," said Dr Ali Al Obaidli, Clinical Director at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Consultant Nephrologist at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC).

Expected participants in the upcoming event include individuals from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Department of Health and Medical Services in Dubai, public and private nephrology specialists across the UAE, nephrology patients/families and the general public.

"We are devoted to raising awareness on health and disease prevention and are keen to educate the public about the importance of their kidneys and how to keep them healthy," said Saif Badr Al Qubaisi, Managing Director, SEHA.

According to Dr Yassin Al Shahat, Nephrology Consultant, SKMC physicians should communicate the important consequences of the kidney and provide information on how diseases such as hypertension, can be treated and controlled.

"We aim to improve the knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of the general population and health professionals related to kidney disease risk factors. Public participation in health educational campaigns will encourage early detection, treatment, and control hypertensive individuals."

The WKD initiative is part of the Renal Programme at SKMC in cooperation with the SEHA in a joint initiative with Emirates Medical Association - Nephrology.

Activities: World Kidney Day

The World Kidney Day was launched for the first time in 2006 and is usually held on the second Thursday of March.

Doctors and nurses will be available at Khalifa Park on Friday, March 14 from 5pm to 11pm.

To mark the second annual "World Kidney Day" several activities and check-up stations at Khalifa Park will include: free blood pressure check, height and weight checks and educational brochures and pamphlets on kidney diseases.