Stemming growing cases of CKD in Nigeria

Onigbinde Oluwaseun, a 31-year old barber in Lagos, was diagnosed of chronic kidney disease in May, 2018. He was told he needed a kidney transplant, but his family could not afford the high cost.

So far, Oluwaseun has been able to raise between N70,000 and N82,000, with assistance from family and well-wishers, for his weekly treatment.

‘‘I undergo dialysis once or twice a week together with blood transfusion. I’m also taking drugs prescribed by my doctor,” said Oluwaseun.

For 43-year old Joseph Nnagbogu, who has been on dialysis since 2016, life could not be any worse. Nnagbogu needs N13million for a kidney transplant but, like Oluwaseun, raising that money has been a huge challenge.

To remain life, he spends N150,000 weekly for a treatment he says has left him bankrupt, indebted and his children out of school.

Oluwaseun and Nnagbogu are just a fraction of many Nigerians battling with chronic kidney disease. According to available statistics, about 20 percent of Nigerians are down with Kidney diseases.

Figures from the Nigeria Association of Nephrologists pegged the number of Nigerians suffering from renal failure at 25million. Out of this number, Ebun Bamgboye, president of the association says about 18,000 will need dialysis every year, which costs about N30,000 per session.

CKD, a situation when the kidney becomes damaged leading to a build-up of wastes in the body, is becoming prevalent in Nigeria. The spate of this disease which is said to be common in the elderly, but has now trickled down to the youths, is unsettling.

Recently, the disease was reported to have caused the deaths of many residents in the North-Eastern States of the country, most of who are in their early thirties.

In the last four years, Kano Kidney Foundation said Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital lost 80 percent of its kidney patients who were undergoing dialysis. The footprint of the disease is also seen in other parts of the country with sufferers battling to stay alive.

Sadly, there seems to be little hope for those who battling with CKD as the cost of treatment is out of the reach of many, and the facilities to adequately manage the ailment is lacking in Nigeria.

In middle-income countries like Nigeria, treatment with dialysis or kidney transplantation creates a huge financial burden for the majority of the people who need it. In another 112 countries, many people cannot afford treatment at all, resulting in the death of over 1 million people annually from untreated kidney failure.

10 percent of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), and millions die each year because they do not have access to affordable treatment.

More than 80 percent of all patients who receive treatment for kidney failure are said to be in affluent countries with universal access to health care and large elderly populations.

According to The National Kidney Foundation, majority of the 2million people who receive treatment for kidney failure are treated in only five countries– the United States, Japan, Germany, Brazil, and Italy. These five countries represent only 12 percent of the world population and only 20percent are treated in about 100 developing countries that make up over 50 percent of the world population.

The number of cases of kidney failure is estimated to increase disproportionately in developing countries, where the numbers of elderly people are increasing.

Experts say undetected chronic kidney disease, could lead to renal failure, a situation whereby the patient either needs to under dialysis or transplant. It could also lead to death when associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Toyin Amira, associate professor and consultant nephrologist at the department of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, the disease affects those within the age bracket of 30 to 50 years.

Amira put the current estimates of Chronic kidney disease in Nigeria at between 15 to 30 per cent, and listed hypertension, diabetes mellitus, glomerulonephritis, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and obstruction from enlarged prostate as common causes of chronic kidney disease.

To check, chronic kidney disease, experts say early detection is key. Efforts should be made to ensure a normal blood pressure while controlling diabetes.

You might also like