Mohan Tatra

The renal route to good health

A volunteer helps launch the South Asian chapter of the Kidney Foundation in Surrey.

Note: The launch of the South Asian Chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch, takes place Thursday, April 3 at 1 p.m. at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall, 8388 128 St. The event is free, and includes snacks and T-shirts.

Mohan Tatra has learned a lot about kidneys over the last several years.

He can expound at length about a kidney’s 1 million nephrons and their ability to filter waste from the blood.

He will explain in detail about how excess salt and sugar in one’s diet is harmful to kidney health.

Tatra also speaks four languages – Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English – a boon to the local renal community.

Tatra, 72, is the president of the new South Asian Chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch, which launches on April 3 in Newton.

He and his wife Surjit have been volunteers with the foundation for four years, spreading awareness to the South Asian community about proper diet and exercise, explaining how kidneys work, and offering advice to a group at greater risk of kidney disease than the general population.

He sets an example by walking 75 minutes each day with his wife.

Most importantly, he says, the information he passes on, some of it quite technical, is in a language they can understand.

The South Asian population, despite a greater risk of kidney disease, is also less apt to become organ donors, says Heather Johnson, the director of programs at the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch.

Asking people to sign up as donors is one of the Kidney Foundation’s priorities.

Johnson says that the South Asian Chapter, which already has several volunteers, is being given financial resources to focus on at-risk groups, providing testing, peer support and self-help advice.

Volunteers also regularly visit dialysis patients undergoing lengthy treatments.

About 20 times a year, the foundation brings local temples targeted screening programs.

During full-day sessions, about 70 patients are given five tests during a 20-minute period: Blood pressure, blood glucose (diabetes puts people at risk of kidney disease), Body Mass Index, creatinine (a kidney waste product), and what’s known as eGFR (a fast and accurate test of kidney function).

Johnson says the South Asian chapter isn’t necessarily Surrey-exclusive, and has already approached people of Aboriginal, Filipino and African heritage, who have their own elevated risks of kidney disease.

“It doesn’t matter who comes to us,” says Tatra.

For more information, or to volunteer with the South Asian Chapter for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch, call Mohan Tatra at 604-594-3262.

For more information about kidney health, visit www.kidney.ca/BCHome

bjoseph@surreyleader.com

 

Kidney facts:

 

• Kidneys remove excess water from the body or retain water when the body needs more.

• Kidneys remove excess minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which are excreted from the body in the urine. The kidneys also help to regulate the levels of other minerals such as calcium and phosphate, which are important for the formation of bone.

• Kidneys release hormones that regulate some body functions such as blood pressure, the making of red blood cells, and the uptake of calcium from the intestine

• When the kidneys fail, wastes and fluids accumulate in the body and dialysis treatments or kidney transplants are needed to clean your blood. Transplants are limited by the number of donors available.

Source: The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s election day in B.C. (Black Press files)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

BC Liberal Surrey South candidate Stephanie Cadieux and supporters rally in Grandview Corners in the lead-up to the election. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux on track to reclaim Surrey South seat

Final results won’t be known until after mail-in ballots are tallied

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Surrey-White Rock front-runner Trevor Halford, who is represented by the BC Liberal Party, watches the election results come in Saturday evening. According to The Canadian Press, Halford is expected to be the MLA for the riding. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Trevor Halford expected to take Surrey-White Rock seat

Halford says he’s ‘absolutely thrilled’ with preliminary results

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read