The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State, has expressed concern over the prevalence of kidney related diseases in the state, disclosing that, one out of every 10 adults in the state has “the mark of kidney disease”.
Chairman NMA, Abia State, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, who made the disclosure at an event to mark the 2021 World Kidney Day monitored by Vanguardngr called on government to equip General and Specialist hospitals in the state to do kidney function tests for all patients at affordable cost.
The NMA boss also appealed to local government authorities to equip the primary health centres in the state with capacity to do routine blood pressure check and analysis of urine at every patient’s visit.
“These centres need to be equipped with necessary facilities and manpower to take care of kidney patients”, Okwuonu said.
He lamented that the causes of kidney disease such as hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and herbal concoctions are on the increase.
According to him, the prevailing poor economy and the harmful effects of covid-19 pandemic are fuelling the recent jump in prevalence of kidney disease in Nigeria as most patients are unable to buy medications for hypertension and diabetes , the two big causes of kidney disease in Abia state.
The Consultant Nephrologist further expressed worry that even young people are being diagnosed with kidney related diseases on daily basis.
He said Government’s urgent intervention in providing treatment for kidney patients had become necessary because “treatment of kidney diseases is out of reach of an average Nigerian and most people die because of financial constraints to care.”
Okwuonu called on the Federal Government to subsidize at least two sessions of dialysis per week to enable patients with kidney disease live well.
He also advocated the extension of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, to accommodate end-stage renal disease to help save more lives.
Dr Okwuonu who said World kidney Day was a day set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) each year to talk about the importance of kidney health, pledged the willingness of Abia doctors to complement efforts to combat kidney related ailments.
The NMA boss commended the kidney transplant team, staff and management of FMC Umuahia for a successful 10th kidney transplant.
According to him, “the consistency and tenacity with which the hospital executes this program is very encouraging”.
“This is the first centre in South East Nigeria and remains the only center with regular transplant activity in South East and South South Nigeria”, he added.
Okwuonu disclosed that Abia NMA “shall soon commence a legislative process of passing an anti- quackery bill which shall make Abia state unsafe for quacks and promote good medical practice in Abia.”