On Saturday 12 March, Kidney Research Yorkshire joined the celebrations for Holi Hai (The Festival of Colours) at the Leeds Hindu Temple to raise awareness of kidney health and research for world Kidney Day 2022 which was on Thursday 10th March.
The event included an information session including talks from a variety of kidney specialists including doctors, researchers and patients sharing their stories about living with kidney disease, the importance of kidney research and organ donation, alongside advice on how to look after your kidneys.
The main aim was to highlight the importance of kidney health and organ donation in the South Asian community. Dr Sunil Daga, honorary scientific advisor explained the silent nature of the disease and that those South Asian backgrounds have a high propensity to kidney disease, affecting up to four times more than those from white backgrounds, at a younger age and with a faster progression. He emphasised the need for participation in wider research by the community.
Dr Ahmed Ahmed, one of the speakers who is a Research Fellow at LTHT also raised awareness of organ donation and the need for signing up to the organ register, and for considering living kidney donation as the wait for a transplant for black and Asian patients is much longer than their white counterparts.
Dr Andrew Lewington, Renal theme lead, NIHR MIC Leeds summed up the event with key messages promoting kidney health and research participation. There was an interactive Q&A panel which touched on current efforts to remove barriers and help participate research for all. The panel included Dr Hanif Ismail (PPI lead manager, LTHT), Charlotte Harden (NIHR MIC) and Dolapo Ajayi (Renal Research lead nurse, LTHT).
The awareness session was followed by refreshments including samosas, bhajis and tea, plus extra food supplied by Feedzaa who provide fresh, homecooked food direct to people’s homes!
To finish off the event, which was attended by over 400 people, everyone joined in with the Holi Hai celebrations outside where the colourful fun began with everyone covering those around them in coloured powders creating a vibrant scene with lots of dancing and fun. Holi Hai celebrates the coming of spring and the joy of friendship.
The day was organized by Chiragi Solanki, Cultural Secretary at the Leeds Hindu Temple, Dr Sunil Daga, Consultant Kidney Specialist at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust (LTHT) and David Fisher, Fundraising Manager at Kidney Research Yorkshire and was a fantastic way of engaging the Hindu community with the importance of looking after their kidneys and thinking about organ donation.