Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride problem accentuates renal diseases in Prakasam

Source: The Hindu | January 7th, 2017
Location: India

Patients demand dialysis centre at Podili or Kanigiri

ONGOLE: While lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension trigger renal failure among individuals, fluoride toxicity is leading to increase in number of cases of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Prakasam district.

The fluoride problem is severe in 48 of the 56 mandals in this drought-prone district, according to Ch.V. Satyanarayana, medical officer attached to the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis (NPPCF).

Dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis are common in the western parts of the district, as the groundwater in over 1,100 villages has high fluoride content. So is the incidence of fluoride-induced CKD, especially in the mandals of Kangiri, P.C. Palli, Chandrasekarapuram and Pamur, where fluoride contamination is above 5 parts per million (ppm), he said in a conversation with The Hindu.

The problem is severe in the villages of Bommireddipalle, Vengalayapalli, Neredepalli, Peddagogulapalle, Vaggampalle, Bandlamudi, Naidupalem, Lakshmipuram, Manchikalapadu, Bodavada, Narsapuram, Dharmavaram, Rajupalem and Balijapalem. Even in these villages, it is the vulnerable section of people who are suffering from CKD, while those taking a nutritious diet and without blood pressure and diabetes are not affected. Diet rich in calcium and magnesium like milk, leafy green vegetables, carrot, radish, raisins, peaches, apricots and dates and tomatoes can make a difference as it helps excrete fluoride through urine and bowel movement, he explains.

According to the data available with the district officials, 345 people died of CKD since January 2015, while over 2,000 patients with white ration cards are undergoing treatment under NTR Aarogyasri in different hospitals.

Fluoride toxicity increases following malfunctioning of the kidneys causing further damage to the kidneys, bones and other organs, explains Machiraju Ramachandra Rao, Resident Medical Officer at Sanghamitra hospital. Five per cent of the patients need dialysis and their lifespan can be increased by five to six years on an average,” adds S. Sridhar Reddy, consultant nephrologist at the hospital

Drinking surface water is advised in view of contamination of groundwater with different types of minerals, says K. Krishnarjuna Rao, Medical Officer at the dailysis centre at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences(RIMS), where 140 patients undergo dialysis twice a week.

Dialysis centre sought

“A dialysis centre at Kanigiri is our only demand,” says Sk. Mastan from Kangiri, while undergoing haemodialysis at the RIMS here. “Visiting Ongole twice in a week along with an attendant means an additional expense of at least Rs. 4,000 per month for me,” adds another patient M. Kondaiah from Markapur.

A dialysis centre at Podili will be easily accessible for patients from Kanigiri, Darsi, Markapur, Marripudi and Chimakurthi, says another patient Srinivasa Rao from Chimakurthi.