Together with the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA), Baxter Healthcare (Malaysia) will organise two cooking classes and a cooking competition tailored for end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD) therapy to promote a balanced and healthy eating lifestyle.

As part of Baxter’s Freedom to Live Campaign (www.freedomtolive.com.my), the cooking classes and competition, to be held in the Klang Valley this August and December, aim to educate patients in a fun and interactive way on the benefits of healthy eating.

The competition will test participants’ skills and knowledge, and will be judged by a panel of dietitians and healthcare professionals.

For ESRD patients, maintaining a healthy eating habit with the necessary nutrition requirement ensures good health and prolongs the remaining function of the kidneys.

A kidney-friendly diet plan limits the consumption of certain minerals and fluid, thereby helping to keep waste and fluids from accumulating in the body and causing health complications.

“Education is an important part of patients’ being fully compliant to any dialysis treatment. I fully support initiatives which aim to educate patients on various ways to stay healthy.

“Baxter’s cooking classes and competition for PD patients are good examples of how patients can learn in an engaging and hands-on environment,” said Prof Winnie Chee, president of the MDA.

Malaysia has seen an increasing number of ESRD patients, with a 167% increase in the number of patients on dialysis over a nine year period. The number of patients on dialysis increased from 11sfit_fitkidney1207_py_1,842 in 2004 to 31,637 in 2013.

PD, one of the dialysis options, is a home-based dialysis therapy which allows patients to enjoy greater patient satisfaction as a result of equal or better clinical outcomes. Baxter Healthcare works with healthcare professionals, providing various awareness and patient education programmes.

Through this year’s cooking classes and competition, MDA and Baxter Healthcare hope to highlight the importance of nutrition and encourage patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle, as well as further improve awareness surrounding the management of kidney disease.

“On-going education is critical for ESRD patients and their caregivers to ensure that they understand their treatment options and how to maintain kidney health. Baxter Healthcare also believes that inspiring and engaging patients and their caregivers are equally important, and we hope that these sessions offer patients and their caregivers an opportunity to instil healthy eating habits and take control of their disease,” said Iftekhar Ahmed, general manager of Baxter Healthcare Sdn Bhd.

The cooking classes will open to 20 PD patients per class and will take place on Aug 1 and Aug 22.

Participants of the cooking classes will be eligible to enter the cooking competition and are encouraged to send in their original recipes (terms and conditions apply) to Baxter Healthcare.

Selected participants are required to demonstrate their cooking skills during the competition scheduled for December 5, 2015.

This programme is open to all PD patients in the Klang Valley area. Registration forms are available online through www.pdcommunity.com.my and at the PD Unit of selected hospitals in the Klang Valley.