Second Prize in Essay Competition on Tropical Acute Renal Failure

January 29, 2010
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi

Amrita’s Dr. Sandeep Sreedharan was awarded the second prize for the 2010 Niyamathullah Memorial Essay Competition, conducted by the Indian Society of Nephrology.

SandeepThe competition open to postgraduate students (MD/DNB) of general medicine and pediatrics saw participation from hundreds of young doctors from around the nation.

Dr. Sandeep will receive the prize on February 14, 2010 from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, at the Society’s Annual Conference at JIPMER, Pondicherry.

Tropical Acute Renal Failure, the topic of the national-level competition, is also the theme of the upcoming conference.

The disease, marked by a failure of the kidneys, may be brought on by the onset of malaria, or snake-bites and scorpion bites in tropical countries such as India.

Dr. Sandeep’s 12-page essay examined several aspects of the disease. Reproduced below are some excerpts from the prize-winning entry.


Despite modern clinical advances, acute renal failure still remains an important and potentially lethal complication of many serious medical as well as surgical conditions.

Acute Kidney Injury is one of the most challenging medical problems in the tropics. Studies have shown that a vast majority of the cases from tropical areas are community-acquired unlike the other parts of the world, where the disease is predominantly hospital-acquired.

AIMSThe most common causes of renal failure, especially in children, is acute gastroenteritis. The incidence of diarrhea is about 2.6 episodes per child per year, while the global mortality estimate is 3.3 million deaths per year.

Although increased awareness about public and personal hygiene and popularisation of oral rehydration therapy has helped in reducing the incidence of renal failure in gastroenteritis in India, a considerable number of children (approximately 10%) still develop renal failure. Hence, an effort for early detection and management of renal complications is essential.

Leptospirosis, the most prevalent spirochaetal infection is another very important cause of renal failure in the tropics. Leptospirosis has a wide clinical spectrum – from the in-apparent and asymptomatic, to the fulminant and fatal. It affects the kidney, liver, heart, lung, cerebrovascular and hematologic systems.

Snake bite constitutes a significant cause of mortality in tropical countries. Approximately 10,000 deaths occur in India annually. Acute renal failure is mainly observed following bites by the viperidae group, sea snake and the colubridae group but the majority of the cases result from viper bites.

Accepting the community as a lead stakeholder in health reform will help in preventing millions of death in tropics not only due to renal failure, but also due to many other fatal, potentially treatable disease conditions.

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