‘25m Nigerians living with chronic kidney disease’
No fewer than 25 million Nigerians are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with over 80 per cent of the patients on dialysis dying due to high cost of treatment.
Speaking yesterday ahead of the World Kidney Day (WKD) holding today, Consultant Nephrologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Dr Oluwatoyin Amira, said herbal medication, diabetes, hypertension and poor funding were responsible for the increasing cases of renal failure in the country.
The expert reiterated that the global event was to raise awareness to the causes of the disease and encourage people on early screening and detection.“The implications are that we are losing a lot of work force because kidney diseases affect those in economically predominant age group coupled with its high mortality rate. It puts a strain on the medical resources of the nation because most people pay out of their pockets,” she said.
The consultant added that diabetes, hypertension, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), glomerulonephritis and obstructive uropathy were friendly to kidney diseases.Amira advised the public to desist from employing herbal medication since it had not been subjected to rigorous clinical trial to authenticate its efficacy, noting that the side effect could lead to acute kidney injury.
“There is no government subsidy. Most of them cannot sustain the treatment for a long time. There are other medications we give them like injection that help to boost their blood levels. All these treatments are very expensive.
“My message to the public is that they should look after their health, practise prevention because it is very cheap. Pay attention to your health, eat healthy, eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise and go for regular check ups. They do not cost money,” she implored.
Amira urged government to strengthen primary health care (PHC) and make it available to the grassroots.She pleaded: “We are begging government on behalf of the patients and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to please consider kidney diseases. Even a 50 per cent subsidy is a huge relief for our patients.”