Haladhar Sahu (52) of Ketana village under Sukruli block of Mayurbhanj district died of kidney failure on October 21. A few weeks back, Maheswar Behera of the same village succumbed over the same reason.
Renal failure or kidney failure is a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood.
At least eight persons have died of renal failure in the last four years while 10 others affected are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. These people, however, have no family history of renal failure. Other persons who have died of kidney disease have been identified as Sukadeb Behera, Ankur Sahu, Bana Bhari Nayak, Manohar Behera, Rabindra Behera and Giridhari Behera. Villagers said the disease is spreading slowly but steadily.
Even as the reason behind it has not been ascertained yet, people fear it might be due to consumption of contaminated water and frequent inhaling of stone dust coming out from the stone carving units.
People who have died due to kidney failure so far were residing near such units. “Even non-alcoholic persons have died of the kidney failure in the village,” said Nanda Kishore Khatua, a villager. Kidney failure is not the only disease affecting Ketana villagers. Most of them suffer from gastro-intestinal ailments as water sources (wells and ponds) are polluted.
Villagers alleged that although they have appealed to the health authorities to look into the problem, little has been done by them till date.
Doctors said the problem with kidney disease is that it shows no symptoms and people with the disease do not visit doctors. By the time, the symptoms appear,
the kidney has been damaged.
Physician Santanu Das said regular dialysis or transplantation is needed to keep the kidney functional. “But 90 per cent people cannot afford the treatment cost as the dialysis or transplantation is very expensive,” he said. He suggested regular medical check-ups for diabetes, blood pressure and albumin by people over 40 years of age.
The problem was raised at the gram sabha meeting held recently where Zilla Parishad member Golak Bihari Nayak told the officials concerned to organise medical camps to identify people with kidney disease.
He also urged the district administration to test drinking water sources and bore-wells in the area.
Mayurbhanj CDMO Chandan Murmu promised to look into the issue. “A medical team will soon be sent to various areas and people examined for kidney disease,” he added.