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Ani Sings Songs of Dreams

Ani sings songs of dreams for kidney patients in the garden of dreams

-Shanti Gurung

Amidst the wild laughter while watching a comedy series with my family last night; I delved into a serious mode all of a sudden; when I received a call from Meera* didi; the depressed wife of a 28 year old former Sajha Bus Driver Rakesh Lama*- the patient with failed kidneys. She was calling from a shop nearby and I could hear her two little children of 2 and 6; playing and screaming with joy behind- unaware of their father’s critical condition. We get in touch almost regularly and every time; the crack in her voice tells of his deteriorating health. And this time; as she spoke with a heavy heart; she informed that the doctors said a kidney transplant is not possible anymore; since both his kidneys have now; been terminally damaged.

*Names have been changed for confidentiality

Kidney failure claims the lives of more than 4,600 Nepalese each year, but only 100 of them are fortunate enough to get proper treatment. Dialysis; the temporary solution of the disease by filtering blood; costs about Rs. 30,000/- per month whereas for a kidney transplantation; the cost ranges from 5-6 lakhs; which can be carried out only after finding a matching donor. In a country where the average income is a meager 200$ per year, one wonders- how do the deprived manage to meet these enormous expenses? The answer; as I found out during a year of volunteering at National Kidney Center; is justified by an instinct to survive; at any given cost. Even if that means selling off all their properties with literally nothing left to them.

Kidney failure is a health issue that clearly, many do not have any idea of.

Here are the basics that every one should be aware of:
The Causes:

  1. Obesity
  2. High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
  3. Heart Disease
  4. In some cases, it can be hereditary.
  5. Use of Poison, excessive use of painkillers and over-the-counter medicines over a long period of time; results to damaging the kidneys.
  6. Other factors include: Trauma, accidents (direct blow to the kidneys), snakebites, and wasp bites.

People at the early stages of kidney disease may not feel sick at all. The first signs of the sickness are general headache, nausea, feeling tired and itchy all over the body. If it gets worse, one may have to urinate more often or less often. These are the signs to look out for:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
  • Numbing and swelling of hands and feet
  • Drowsy feeling, lack of concentration
  • Skin may darken
  • Muscle cramps

To be on the safe side; doctors suggest a regular blood and urine checkup; because if your blood contains too much Cretinine (a waste product in your blood) or Urea Nitrogen; and if your urine contains protein; it’s a sign that your kidneys aren’t functioning properly.

However, for those who are beyond the safe side, each passing day is full of dire straits. But you- yes you! You can make a difference. The simplest is to spread the word; and urge everyone to go for regular blood and urine checkups. You can donate in cash or, even supply Dialysis machines and air conditioners to the hospital if you can! But here’s an easier way to help out. Scroll down!

On our perennial efforts to help those who succumb to this dreadful disease, celebrated artist Ani Choying Dolma has empathetically volunteered to perform at the Garden of Dreams at Keshar Mahal, in order to raise funds for the benefit of Kidney failure patients. Tickets are priced at only Rs 1,500/-, which includes dinner as well.

The musical event starts at dusk from 6:30 to 8:30, this Saturday, on the 7th of April 2007.

Tickets are available at:
Garden of Dreams, Keshar Mahal OR,
National Kidney Center; Banasthali Chowk
Ph. # 4363452,4360876,4360889
For further information, please contact Dr. R.K. Dulal; 9851025545

Lets join hands on preventing the preventable kidney disease.

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