The federal and state governments have been called upon to assist Nigerians battling kidney diseases as many Nigerians die on yearly as a result of insufficient funds to manage the ailment.
Speaking at the maiden launch of N500 million kidney care trust fund by At Remmy in Lagos on Tuesday, a Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Jacob Awobusuyi, disclosed that 90 percent of Nigerians who start dialysis end up dying after a year due to lack of finance.
According to him, an average individual needs N500,000 on a monthly basis for regular maintenance haemodialysis, which he said many could not afford due to out-of-pocket payment, hence the increasing mortality of kidney patients.
Given an instance of the United States, the kidney expert noted that N34 billion is spent by the government to care for people who needed kidney transplantation or end state kidney diseases.
To further drive home his point, the nephrologist said 850 million people worldwide have kidney diseases and it accounts for 2.4 million deaths every year.
He said 1.7 million people die of acute kidney infection, adding that 17 percent of people on hospital admission in various hospitals across Africa has acute kidney infection.
Dr Awobusuyi urged individuals to pay more attention to their health as common things cause kidney disease and failure.
In his analysis of the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, diabetes accounts for 52 percent, hypertension takes 45 percent, obesity takes 36 percent and “whoever has a family history should be wary because he or she can also become a victim of the sixth fastest growing cause of death in the world. Whoever has sickle cell anaemia and HIV are also prone to kidney disease.”
A kidney disease survivor, Prince Ifeanyi Dike, in his advise to prevent kidney disease, said: “Don’t add salt to your cooked food, go on holiday to relax your mind and body, be wary of canned food and most importantly, take good care of your body.”
Dike, who has been to India twice for a kidney transplant, appealed to the government to support dialysis centres to buy latest machines “as their machines are obsolete.”
He also urged the FG to give consumables and give a tax waiver on kidney drugs so as to allow more average Nigerians to assess treatment during dialysis and after transplant.