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Awareness About The Basic Goals In Kidney Diseases
Jun 2017
Dr Ravi Andrews
Senior Consultant Nephrologist, Apollo Health City

Even though giant strides have been made in healthcare and disease management in the modern era, the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ still holds true today too. Preventive medicine is everything today and it has FOUR levels. Here we use the analogy of a soccer match between arch-rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid to understand preventive medicine. Remember, for any disease, prevention is the primary goal and prevention has different stages.

Primary Prevention

In this stage, the goal is to prevent the disease from occurring. This could take the form of lifestyle modifications or medications. Thus, avoiding smoking prevents cancer. Vaccination prevents polio. This is the concept of primary prevention. When Real Madrid plays Barcelona, the primary goal of each team is to prevent the other from scoring goals while at the same time score goals of their own.

Hence, the coaches of both teams draw up strategies and plans to prevent the main goal scorers of both sides, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi from scoring goals. This happens even before the players take the field. This is primary prevention.

Secondary Prevention
Here, the goal is to limit the damage caused by the disease. This is best done by early diagnosis and treatment. So, early diagnosis of diabetes by frequent monitoring of an individual’s blood sugar levels and starting medications early would achieve the secondary goal of damage limitation. Using the soccer analogy, once the game starts, the Real Madrid and Barcelona defenders closely mark Ronaldo and Messi to prevent them from scoring goals. This is secondary prevention.