According to the Vice-President of Tanzania, Dr. Philip Mpango, the youth must resist the temptation of selling their kidneys because of the serious health complications which may arise.
Speaking at the inauguration of a dialysis center at St Joseph’s Peramiho Referral Hospital on Friday, July 21, 2023, he said:
“I want to tell you; kidney disease is among the ailments leading in causing deaths to many people globally and it is estimated that in every 100 people in Tanzania, seven have chronic kidney disease.”
This fact-check report seeks to verify:
- Whether kidney disease is a leading cause of death globally
- Whether 7 out of every 100 Tanzanians have chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease/kidney failure is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work as well as they should and this has become a major public health problem worldwide, due to its epidemic proportions and the associated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
“The rapid loss of kidney function is called Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) while the gradual loss of kidney function is referred to as chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is typically caused by a long-term condition,” a Medical Specialist at Iringa Regional Referral Hospital, Dr. Isack Mlay stated in an interview.
According to the latest World Health Organization(WHO) Global health estimates, kidney disease is the 10th leading cause of death globally, killing about 1.3 million people in 2019.
The top global causes of death, in order of total number of lives lost, are associated with three broad topics: cardiovascular (ischaemic heart disease, stroke), respiratory (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections) and neonatal conditions – which include birth asphyxia and birth trauma, neonatal sepsis and infections, and preterm birth complications.
The claim that kidney disease is a leading cause of death globally is rated CORRECT.
Despite limited available data on the burden of chronic kidney disease among patients attending hospitals in Tanzania, a 2018 community-based study conducted in Northern Tanzania found the overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 7%.
The research – “Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Chronic Kidney Disease Among Patients Presenting at a Haemodialysis Unit in Dodoma, Tanzania,” – reviewed data from 1,395 patients who visited the University of Dodoma (UDOM) haemodialysis unit from January 2013 to June 2015.
Subsequently, Tanzania’s Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Godwin Mollel seemed to have referenced the study and claimed that 7 Percent of Tanzanians Live With Kidney Disease when he was answering a question in parliament on 19th May 2023.
This seems to be what has been repeated by the Vice-President of Tanzania, Dr. Philip Mpango. However, a closer look at the study’s limitations and strengths shows that the researchers stated that “the results are limited to patients in the central part of Tanzania” and that the study has limited generalizability.
“There is a large increase in the number of patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at Iringa Referral Hospital for the last three years,” Dr. Isack Mlay revealed.
So, the claim that 7 out of every 100 Tanzanians have chronic kidney disease is PARTLY TRUE.
Researched by Aloyce Mchunga
This report was compiled under the mentorship of Africa Facts network member [FactSpace West Africa]. Africa Facts is a network of fact-checkers across the continent supported by Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation.