The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday agreed to set up a dedicated research centre in the state's Uddanam region to find a solution to high prevalence of chronic kidney disease.
The institute will be supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and 50 percent of the expenditure will be incurred by the state government.
The institute, to come up at a cost of Rs 15 crore, will be dedicated to kidney research and nephrology and include bio-banking, surveillance, DNA sequencing, patient care infrastructure, academic training and public education.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement when a team of doctors from Harvard Medical School along with actor-politician Pawan Kalyan met him in Amaravati.
The team, which visited the region in Srikakulam district on Saturday at the initiative taken by Pawan Kalyan, submitted its recommendations to the government.
Dr Joseph Bonventre, who led the team of doctors, recommended the setting up of a dedicated institute.
The Chief Minister immediately agreed and said, the state cabinet had already approved the setting up of the research institute at Srikakulam.
The team from Harvard studied the causes for high prevalence of chronic kidney disease or 'Uddanam Nephropathy', which has claimed many lives in the region during last 30 years.
Health officials, in their presentation, said the screening of over one lakh people in 176 villages show the prevalence rate of the disease is 13 percent, which is extremely high according to any standard.
Principal Secretary, Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Poonam Malakondaiah, said that 46 per cent of the patients are female and 54 per cent male. She said that each case is recorded and tracked electronically, so that the government can provide the required medical care and attention.
Three additional dialysis centres were opened in Uddanam, which now has the highest density of dialysis centres in the continent.
The state cabinet has approved pension of Rs 2,500 per month to all the patients in the state having CKD stage III, IV & V and those undergoing dialysis in government hospitals.
Naidu also announced that safe drinking water will be provided to the Uddanam area.