Whanganui residents invited to attend Kidney Health Day

31 January 2017


The Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) is calling for registrations from people interested in attending Kidney Health Day on 7 February.


Jointly hosted by the WRHN and Kidney Health New Zealand, Kidney Health Day could be described as a ‘one-stop shop’ for clinicians and patients interested in, or impacted by,  kidney disease.


Renal nurse practitioner Albert Robertson says it’s the first time such an event has been held in Whanganui so organisers are pulling out all stops to ensure it’s a success.


Expert speakers include Kidney Health NZ national education manager Carmel Gregan-Ford, MidCentral DHB nephrologist Dr Curtis Walker, WDHB consultant physician Dr Tom Thompson, MidCentral DHB clinical nurse specialist for kidney transplant Martina Sharpe; WRHN community dietician Pushpa Wati and WRHN peer support Mary Hirini and community health worker Andre Mason.


Mr Robertson says Kidney Health Day is open to any member of the public who has an interest in learning about kidney health. Set to take place at the Wanganui Racecourse, it will begin at 12., closing at 4.50pm.


“According to Kidney Health New Zealand, one out of 10 New Zealanders has some form of kidney disease,” Mr Robertson says.


“As the incidence of diabetes has risen over the last 20 to 30 years, so too has the number of people who develop kidney disease which can be debilitating for some patients. Until we succeed in reducing diabetes, we will not see a decline in the number.


“End stage kidney disease, which is not curable, sees people needing dialysis which has a profound effect on their  quality of life. You can prevent it by making healthy choices such eating healthy food, exercising, not smoking and managing your diabetes well, but once you develop kidney disease the damage is permanent.”


Mr Robertson splits his 40-hour week between MidCentral and Whanganui DHBs working across primary and secondary care. He stepped into his Whanganui role in June 2015 after the WDHB identified the need for specialist primary care support for Whanganui’s kidney patients.


Kidney Health Day will be a bi-annual event held in Whanganui. To register, please call Amanda Collins on 06 348 0109.