Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is considered a silent disease, as it may go undetected for many years, until it reaches an advanced stage, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Prevention, early detection and treatment of CKD are crucial to slowing its progression.

These were some the conclusions drawn during North Macedonia's first-ever national Renal Expert Academy, held in Skopje at the end of last year. The initiative was a joint collaboration between the local Ministry of Health, the Swedish Embassy and Business Sweden, and counted with the participation of Diaverum representatives.

As a result, in March this year, the Ministry of Health of North Macedonia launched a screening project for people at risk for CKD, supported by Diaverum. The project is expected to run for four months, covering 2,000 people across the country. Diaverum North Macedonia will be responsible for the screening of 1,000 individuals in its nine clinics in the South East region (Zelezara, Vizbegovo, Delchevo, Gevgelija, Shtip, Kochani, Strumica, Kumanovo, Kriva Palanka), while screening in other regions will be handled by a different renal care provider, in accordance with each provider’s operating license.

Screening will cover necessary blood and urine examinations to diagnose CKD. Individuals with signs of potential kidney failure will receive medical advice and get scheduled for a follow up check-up, to confirm a CKD diagnosis, while people who are diagnosed with CKD will be informed about their treatment options; everyone else will be advised to take yearly CKD screening tests, to monitor their kidney health.

Commenting about the launch of the project, Dr Ilir Demiri, Minister of Health for North Macedonia, said: “The benefit of early CKD detection and prevention, was one of the conclusions from the national Renal Expert Academy held last year. Now we are going one step further and actioning these conclusions; we are joining competences & resources to achieve the widest coverage, and to advance equitable access to kidney care, in support of this year’s World Kidney Day campaign theme”.

Dimitar Klisarovski, Country Manager for Diaverum Macedonia, added: “The idea of launching a screening project has existed for some time now, as we were treating patients with end-stage renal disease, who were just finding out they had kidney disease. Our True care culture at Diaverum is the cornerstone of how we approach patient care, and includes an unwavering commitment to increasing access to the highest quality of care. To this end, I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Ministry of Health, in a joint effort to support the prevention of kidney disease and improve kidney health for everyone”.

Currently, Diaverum is one of the leading providers of renal care in North Macedonia, with a total of nine clinics (three of which offer pre-dialysis services), and more than 250 staff caring for over 700 patients nationwide.

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