(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday 10 February, 2020): The TCI Boat Club has donated $3,000 towards the launch of a community kidney disease screening program spearheaded by InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital. The funding will be used to cover overheads associated with clinical testing supplies.
A media session was held on Wednesday, February 5th 2020 at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre to officially handover the check donation to the health care management company and provide an overview of the first-time initiative.
Remarks were given by Albert Williams, President of TCI Boat Club, Johnson Stubbs, Vice President of TCI Boat Club and Soley Williams, Treasurer of TCI Boat Club. InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital representatives comprised of Eleanor Hall, Chief of Allied Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant, Chief of Medical Services, and Dr Vancelee Forbes, Nephrologist.
Chronic kidney disease is kidney damage that has been present for at least 3 months. The kidney function tends to deteriorate over months to years eventually leading to kidney failure. Once the kidneys fail, an individual requires dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive. In early chronic kidney disease there are usually no symptoms. An individual can lose 70% -90% of their kidney function before they begin to experience symptoms.
Chronic kidney disease, if detected early, can be treated in order to delay or prevent the progression to kidney failure. However, at least 50% of patients diagnosed with kidney failure at TCI Hospital and started on dialysis were not previously aware that they had kidney disease. Chronic non-communicable diseases are also the number one contributor of rising health care costs worldwide.
A referral is generally required to access a Nephrologist, which is a specialist physician in kidney disease and management. However, the kidney disease screening clinic will provide free and open access to this service on a designated date during the month of March, with additional quarterly pop-up clinics across communities once funding permits.
Participants will receive a free Nephrologist consultation, which includes a urinalysis and on-the-spot kidney function test. This allows persons within the community to bypass the hospital-based appointment booking system and receive fast-tracked service. No referral or NHIP coverage is required. The screening is expected to span 15 minutes per person depending on the clinical findings and dietary counselling will also be offered.
The TCI Boat Club has been in operation for nearly 6 years and has demonstrated good corporate responsibility since inception via donations to the local Kidney Foundation. President of the TCI Boat Club, Albert Williams stated: “It gives the TCI Boat Club great pleasure in being here. This is something we have always looked forward to doing, and putting our name and stamp on something so significant. It gives us great pleasure to partner with you to get the kidney screening process underway and we look forward to many more partnerships.”
Nephrologist, Dr Vancelee Forbes stated: “The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease are increasing within the Turks and Caicos Islands. For the size of our population, there is a significant number of persons reaching end stage renal failure and requiring dialysis in order to survive. Kidney failure is a life changing diagnosis and if untreated, is a fatal condition. Therefore, it is important for us to detect kidney disease early and also to prevent kidney disease in the first place. The purpose of the screening is to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease, the need for early detection and prevention to improve the health of our population overall.”
Chief of Medical Services, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant stated: “I wish to express gratitude to the TCI Boat Club for the monetary donation that has been given to us, and by extension the community. We are reminded that a healthy nation is a productive nation. We are also reminded of the fact that government does not have to fund everything. We as good corporate citizens can also participate and support, and we are so immensely grateful that the TCI Boat Club is supporting the community in this way. There are several patients on dialysis whose treatment impacts their earning capacity and travel expenses, above their NHIP stipends. To have the TCI Boat Club donate to us and support the kidney foundation to assist patients is very commendable.”