An introduction by Dr David Makanjuola, Chairperson, The Kidney Fund and Consultant Nephrologist at St. Helier Hospital.
I am certain that quite a few of you here will know of someone with kidney disease. It is very common, indeed, certain types are more common with advancing age, so given the demographics of the population in the UK, it is likely to get even more so.
Often there are no typical symptoms and sometimes, kidney disease is very advanced by the time individuals first know there is an issue and seek help for it. Some of the causes of kidney disease are preventable and in many cases, it is possible to minimise the long-term effects of impaired kidney function if the condition is detected early. The challenge is not just with regards to raising awareness about kidney disease, but also to help with the wider efforts of prevention of, and in some cases, curing kidney disease. It can seem a daunting, even overwhelming task if tackled alone, but less so if we join forces.
It was largely for this reason that kidney doctors and patients on the Renal unit at St. Helier hospital came together just under 30 years ago under the guidance of Dr Michael Bending, to build the South West Thames Institute for Renal research (SWTIRR).
SWTIRR has defied the odds and has provided training for quite a few junior doctors, one of whom is now the first Professor of kidney disease at St. Helier hospital; many scientists, as well as nurses and allied health professionals. This has been made possible by the funding that SWTIRR receives from The Kidney Fund. Without it, SWTIRR is unlikely to have been able to do the sterling work it has done so far.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to find out what we do and for helping us in our efforts to educate, inform, increase awareness, prevent, and hopefully find cures for different kinds of kidney disease.