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Thousands waiting for kidney transplant

Five and a half thousand people in the UK are waiting for a kidney transplant and one person dies every day waiting for a match.

Today is World Kidney Day, and it's also ten years since people were given permission to donate to a total stranger.

Sally Simmonds has been finding out why people want to undergo surgery to help others, and whether it's made a difference to the thousands of desperate people on the waiting list.

World Kidney Day is being marked across the region

Kidney patients are helping to raise awareness of their condition

Health organisations, specialists and patients across the region are marking World Kidney Day today.

The event aims to help raise awareness of kidney disease and its impact around the globe. This year's theme is 'Kidney Disease & Children, Act Early to Prevent it'. Every year around 60,000 people in the UK are treated for kidney failure.

"Chronic kidney disease is common, affecting over 3 million people in the UK. However, it can go undetected as people often have no symptoms, although people with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, a family history and those from certain ethnic groups, have a higher risk.

"The good news is that depending on the problem, early detection, changes in lifestyle and a healthy diet can often slow down the progression of the disease, delaying the possible need for dialysis or transplantation."

– World Kidney Day spokesperson

Find out if you are Kidney Aware here.


Purple haze for Portsmouth's Spinnaker tower

The Spinnaker Tower will turn purple tonight for World Kidney Day Credit: Press Association

Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower is be turned purple tonight to mark World Kidney Day. The NHS Trust said the area is the most generous in the country with eleven people donating their kidneys to strangers last year - eighteen percent of the total of altruistic kidney donations in 2012.

There are 7000 people on the transplant list and 300 people die a year waiting for a kidney transplant.

Since July 2007 when the first altruistic donation took place, a total of 158 altruistic kidney donations have taken place in the UK, with 21 of these taking place in Portsmouth.