By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Kidney Association of Belize is calling on Belizeans who are at risk for kidney disease to be mindful of their diet during the Christmas celebrations.
KAB President, Ruby Nicholas explained that in Belize the majority of kidney disease patients are those who ended up with kidney failure due to either diabetes or hypertension. These groups are especially vulnerable during the Christmas season because of all the festivities.
“For the hypertensive patients we’re asking them to be careful with the ham, and for the diabetic patients to keep away from the carbonated beverages and cakes which are common around Christmas time,” Nicholas said.
She added that in the event anyone in the at-risk groups decides to eat foods that will likely worsen their condition, that they do so in utmost moderation. She also advised all groups, including those already with kidney disease, to be adherent to medication guidelines, drink eight glasses of water daily, and include fruits and vegetables and fruits in every meal throughout this holiday.
The KAB was established in 2003, to serve both kidney disease patients as well as their families with support services. Those services financial assistance for travelling and other expenses associated with getting treatment, as well sponsoring one or two haemodialysis treatments. The association also coordinates with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and Nephrologists Dr. Ronald Hyde, who visits Belize four times a year to hold clinics for kidney patients.
The association has two or three major fundraisers for the year. The KAB’s raffle fundraiser, originally slated for December 22, was rescheduled for January 28, 2016, to accommodate more people who wished to participate. There are 10 prizes in the raffle including cash prizes of $200, and $500, round trip tickets to destinations such as Placencia and San Pedro, and even Lypo Suction courtesy Belize Healthcare Partners Limited.