In line with its advocacy for lifestyle-related diseases to prevent kidney ailments among grade school students during this year’s Kidney Month celebration, the Department of Health (DOH) – CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) conducted a two-week urine testing activity in various provinces of the region.
Regional Director Dr. Eduardo Janairo said they had screened a total of 500 elementary grade school children from selected schools namely- National Training School in Tanay, Rizal; Carmona National High School in Carmona, Cavite; Parang Elementary School in Pagbilao, Quezon; Sta. Cruz Central Elementary School in Sta., Cruz, Laguna; and San Agustin Elementary School in Ibaan, Batangas.
Regional Non-Communicable Disease Control Cluster Head Dr. Marilou R. Espiritu said a urine test is important to check the color, clarity, odor, concentration, and acidity (pH) of a child’s urine. It also determined the levels of protein, sugar, blood cells to establish certain conditions like diabetes, kidney stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI), high blood pressure, or even kidney or liver diseases.
“The activity was also done to heighten awareness on kidney diseases to school children,” said Espiritu.
“We need to conduct screening at an early age in order to provide treatment and prevent the onset of any chronic renal failure among our children,” she added.
During the activity, 177 school children were diagnosed with UTI and given antibiotics for treatment.
Espiritu disclosed that among the causes of UTI in children are low water intake, more soft drink consumption and too much salty foods.
The DOH places kidney diseases as the 7th leading cause of death in the country. Per hours, one Filipino develops chronic renal failure, or around 120 Filipinos per million people per year.
Urine testing or urinalysis is the simplest, safest and inexpensive way to evaluate and detect serious renal diseases that may be present in the body.
The dipstick method was used to rapidly identify renal or urinary tract diseases.
Espiritu emphasized the importance of having a healthy eating habit among children.
“When we say healthy eating, it includes a diet that is low in salt, low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in dietary fiber and whole grains. Always consume the right number of calories that helps you achieve a healthy body weight. This can reduce the risk of getting obesity-related chronic diseases including kidney failure.”
“As much as possible, we should limit the consumption of fast foods, soft drinks and junk foods to prevent healthy-lifestyle diseases,” she said.