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CKDu Care project helps kidney disease patients

 Dr. Nishantha Kumarasinghe and patients at the clinic.

CKDu CARE is a project, dedicated to relief service, education and research on Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain etiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka.

It has been initiated by a group of Western qualified and Ayurveda qualified medical professionals.The Institute of Ayurveda and Alternative Medicine (IAAM), Kotelawala Defence University (KDU),the Kebithigollewa Divisional Secretariat and the Department of Ayurveda North Central Province support this project.

A CKDu dedicated clinic has begun at the Kebithigollewa divisional secretariat office premises in October 2015. As of October 2016 the clinic shifted to the Ayurveda community health center of the area as requested by the Ayurveda Commissioner of the North Central Province. The project is designed to provide a free service for CKD patients of which a majority represents the low income farming community.

Native medicine revealed by late Ven. Waharaka Abhayarathanalankara thera a renowned and veteran indigenous Ayurvedic physician are being practiced applied and used for remedying the renal patients.

So far 32 clinics have been conducted managing over 400 registered patients under its care and with a clinic attendance of 100-150 patients per clinic.

Services provided through the project include medical examination of patients by qualified Western and Ayurveda physicians. Laboratory testing for evaluation of CKD status including blood creatinine, urinary albumin creatinine is conducted free. A customised medication pack for three weeks is then provided based on patient status.

Health education sessions are conducted for all patients attending the clinic emphasizing on good agricultural practices (highlighting significance of agrochemical free agriculture), food habits and life style modifications essential for prevention of CKDu.

CKDu CARE has also successfully conducted a knowledge and skill-sharing workshop for Ayurveda physicians who treat CKDu patients in the north central province. This five-day workshop was conducted at the Ayurveda Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura.

This workshop covered aspects of essential basic knowledge and skills with regard to clinical management, preparation of simple traditional medicine remedies for CKDu using ingredients abundantly found in northern Sri Lanka as well as systematic data recording in CKDu clinics. Training was provided for over 20 government Ayurveda doctors who also underwent an onsite clinical training at the CKDuCARE clinic, Kebithigollewa. Now they are ready to provide comprehensive health care for CKDu patients using Western - Ayurveda integrated method. Some medicines for CKDu are now been prepared at the Ayurveda medicine manufacturing plant at Thambuttegama Thelhiriyawa under the purview of commissioner Ayurveda North Central Province, using the ancient prescriptions donated by Dr. Nishantha Kumarasinghe for providing medical treatments for a larger section of the kidney patients.

It is envisaged to treat the CKDupatients with this course of native medicine through the 45 ayurvedha hospitals in the NCP.

A decline in serum creatinine level (a measure of degree of kidney injury) has been reported in over 70% of patients under treatment. A considerable proportion (30%) hasalso demonstrated normal levels of creatinine following a 6month to 9 month duration of treatment.These remarkable outcomes have been shared with the scientific community

So far research on CKDu conducted locally as well as internationally has failed to present any fruitful outcomes. The aim of CKDu CARE research is to find a feasible solution to CKDu using a Western and Ayurveda integrated approach. The young researchers working with CKDu CARE are systematically recording data of patients covering biological, psychological, socio-demographic and environmental aspects of their lives.

These data together with our remarkable findings are being presented to the national and international forums in order to create awareness among the scientific community who has similar intention to find a solution for this seemingly incurable disease. More in-depth research such as 2 PhD researches projects and 08 undergraduate research projectswill be carried out with the support from the university of Sri Jayewardenepura (R 4 million grant has been approved for one project), National Science Foundation for which grant application forwarded, National Research Council Kothalawala Defence University and Institute of Ayurvedha and Alternative Medicine.

Dr. Kumarasinghe said this volunteer medical care project has achieved a lot for a period of one year from its start in October 2015 without seeking funding or any major support from the government.