Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre to reduce medical tourism
• Promises cheap access to quality care, raises hope for indigent patients
The Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Chris Bode has said that the proposed Lion Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre would reduce medical tourism in Nigeria.
Bode, at the fundraising ceremony for the dialysis centre held Sunday added that renal dialysis would enable patients to be given affordable and quality healthcare in the country.
In continued legacy of the former District Governor 404, Late Lion Olusola Dada, Bode said the hospice would operate both for dialysis and a clinic centre.
“The dialysis centre would be a 30-bed space with 750 patients treated monthly. Currently, the dialysis centre that the LUTH has is not sufficient to cater for the increasing number of patients and sometimes we had to refer to them to private centres. It would be a clinic for those who have other kidney problem at an affordable cost,” he said.
According to reports, it is estimated that Nigerians spent $2.5 billion (that is about N1.25 trillion) on foreign medical trips yearly, most of which cases could be handled in Nigeria. This is apart from what Nigerians who travel abroad to the United Kingdom (UK), United States (U.S.), India, and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) spend on the medicine component of their treatment while outside this shores.
In his words: “With the poor state of the economy, a majority cannot afford maintenance dialysis let alone renal transplantation.”
Bode emphasised that the number of patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) will continue to increase unless the delivery of optimal preventive medical care to prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease is addressed.
Advocating for public private partnership, he urged interested individuals and groups to invest in the nation’s health facilities so as to reposition them to generate foreign exchange.
“The success of this project would only thrive if the private individuals can support it in pursuance to fulfilling Late Lion Olusola Dada’s dream. Public private partnership will make it easier to give Nigerians access to quality health care because government cannot do it alone.
“By doing this, we are encouraging ourselves as well as urge Nigerians not to go to India for medical conditions that we can treat here,” he added.
Appreciating the Lion’s club for the proposed project, Bode added that increased cooperation within various units involved in renal care; regular public enlightenment on the causes, methods of prevention and management of ESRD with focus on the relative safety of kidney donation are other ways to stem the rise of the disease.
“The dialysis centre would integrate sound and cost-effective models of screening and treatment of kidney diseases in the healthcare systems for effective outreach and improved patient outcomes,” he noted.
Eulogising Lion Lola Olusola, Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, Maiden Alex-Ibru, said he was a visionary person that had the interest of the common man in heart.
“Olusola before his death has put in place plans to build a world class dialysis centre in LUTH. He didn’t fail to share his vision with anyone that could support him. I hope that the centre be completed soon in fulfillment of his dreams,” she added.
Wife of the Late District Governor, Lion Lola Dada, said with more than 20 per cent people suffering from renal problem, it is an endemic issue that must be given attention.
This, Dada said is because an average cost of dialysis is not less than N25, 000 per session while the average cost of a transplant is N5 million. She added that the average cost of immunosuppressant drugs per year is N1.5 million.
Calling for support, Dada said that the project would help fulfill her husband’s wishes to establish a kidney dialysis centre.
On why about 34 million people have kidney diseases in Nigeria, Dada said many people with hypertension, diabetes are not properly treated and are likely to develop kidney disease that is usually presented late to the hospital.”
Dada in her speech said that: “The leading contributors to this burden are diabetes and hypertension. Fortunately, kidney disease can be prevented and progression can be slowed with early identification and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease.”
Lamenting the high cost of treatment, Lola explained that: “We have unfortunate combination of an expensive treatment for a common disease that afflicts a poor population. The people are poor and the disease is common in the population. Not just transplant but also dialysis and all the other drugs needed.”
Lola added that regular check up that can detect hypertension and diabetes early is important.
On the benefit of the dialysis centre to LUTH, Chief Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Prof. Femi Fasanmade, said the proposed dialysis centre would support the training of medical personnel on life saving renal disease treatment.
He added that chronic kidney disease is one of the country’s causes of death and that only 2000 patients have access to dialysis in Nigeria.
District Governor, Lion Olatunbosun Okpeseyi, emphasised his support for the project and said that his administration would ensure that it is achieved within a year’s time.
“Although Late Lion Isaac Olusola was the initiator of the project, the Lions Club District 404A1 is in full support and has continued the project. The centre is anticipated to be a one stop centre where everything renal dialysis is taken care of in the building,” he added.
According to Okpeseyi said that despite the negative stories circulating about the country’s health sector, there are professionals making sacrifices and working to reverse the trend and Lions Club would not fail in its service to humanity.
Late High Chief (Dr.) Isaac Olusola Dada, a native of Aiyede Ekiti in Ekiti state, was born on June 6, 1941 in Osogbo, Osun State.
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