By: Chioma Umeha
Kidney Foundation for Africa (KFA), a non-governmental organisation has announced plans to build a kidney hospital in Nigeria, to provide affordable care services to patients with kidney problems and save billions of dollars lost in procuring such services outside the country.
Speaking during a press briefing organised Wednesday, to mark this year’s World’s Kidney Day, Executive Director, Kidney Foundation for Africa, (KFA) Clinton Peters, said that the hospital will render healthcare services in a cost effective manner. Peters stressed on the need for early detection. “Early diagnosis and immediate nephrology referral are key steps in management because it enables predialysis education, allow implementation of preventive measures that delay or even halt progression of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) to end stage renal disease, as well as decrease initial morbidity and mortality,” Peters said. Chronic kidney disease sometimes results from primary diseases of the kidneys themselves, but the major causes are diabetes and high blood pressure, Peters said, adding that this is why KFA is partnering with Pfizer and other organisations to nip it from the bud.
He further said that the aim of KFA is to raise awareness of the importance of the kidney to the overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems across the country. Prof. Manoj R. Gumber of the institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre, Ahmedabad, India who visited Nigeria as a guest of the public lecture to mark the World Kidney’s Day by KFA also emphasized on the need for early detection. Gumber who is also a Professor of Nephrology, said that it is cheaper to prevent kidney disease than to treat it and advocated for a healthy lifestyle noting that the diseases is a silent killer.
The Professor of Nephrology of listed the effects and symptoms of chronic kidney disease to include: need to urinate frequently, especially at night (nocturia); swelling of the legs and puffiness around the eyes (fluid retention); high blood pressure and fatigue and weakness (from anemia or accumulation of waste products in the body). Others are loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting; itching, easy bruising, and pale skin (from anemia); shortness of breath from fluid accumulation in the lungs; headaches, numbness in the feet or hands (peripheral neuropathy), disturbed sleep, altered mental status (encephalopathy from the accumulation of waste products or uremic poisons), and restless legs syndrome.
The rest are; chest pain due to pericarditis (inflammation around the heart); bleeding (due to poor blood clotting); bone pain and fractures and decreased sexual interest and erectile dysfunction.
He said that one can seek medical care on the notice of any of the following symptoms: change in energy level or strength; increased water retention (puffiness or swelling) in the legs, around the eyes, or in other parts of the body; shortness of breath or change from normal breathing; nausea or vomiting; bone or joint pain; easy bruising or itching. Founder of KFA, Dr. Bose Peters, a kidney patient survivor narrated her plight and appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, government, public and private individuals to support KFA to save lives of indigent kidney patients who cannot afford to travel abroad to obtain required health care services to ameliorate their condition.
Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Pfizer, Mrs Margaret Olele, also noted that Pfizer is partnering with KFA as part of the company’s commitment to her social responsibility in supporting health care services in the area of cardiovascular services. The World kidney Day is marked every year in 154 countries for the purpose of creating awareness and educating the public on the public on the causes, prevention and cure for CKD which has become rampant all over the world, including Nigeria.
This story was published in Daily Newswatch on March 16, 2013