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Prevention, best way to manage kidney diseases

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Health Walk by the Renal Dialysis Centre, Ikeja , Lagos, to create awareness on kidney health, March 15, 2019 Health Walk by the Renal Dialysis Centre, Ikeja , Lagos, to create awareness on kidney health, March 15, 2019

By Okuanwan Offiong and Vivian Ihechu

In view of the increasing incidences of kidney diseases, the Renal Dialysis Centre (RDC), Ikeja, Lagos, says  the best way to manage the condition is through prevention.

Dr John Okoh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RDC, told  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that from clinic observations and available statistics, more people were coming down with kidney disease.

He spoke on the sidelines of a free screening outreach organised by the centre at the Alade Market, Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday.

The screening is part of the centre’s activities to mark the 2019 World Kidney Day (WKD), marked annually on March 14 with theme for 2019 being “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere’’.

Okoh said: “One of the prescribed ways of managing the disease now is actually prevention, protection and early detection and to do the things to keep the kidneys healthy.

“Cases of kidney diseases are increasing daily, hence the reason we are here, to try to screen people.

“This free screening avails people of the opportunity to check their status because many of them may not want to go to health facilities because of cost implications and other biases.

“So, we bring the opportunity for a health check to them and encourage them to do regular check-up.”

He also decried the unwillingness of people to voluntarily donate kidneys for transplantation, hence the emphasis on prevention.

However, Okoh told NAN that one of the ways of managing kidney disease is by dialysis, which is expensive.

According to him, the Renal Dialysis Centre has a chain of dialysis centres for the treatment of renal diseases.

Free Screening and Counselling by the  Renal Dialysis Centre, Ikeja , Lagos, to create awareness on kidney health, March 15, 2019.

Our mission is to provide accessible, affordable and quality dialysis service to people with kidney disease through individualised care to improve quality of life.

“The aim is to ensure our business meets world class standards, using homegrown solutions to reach more people who are suffering from kidney disease,” Okoh said.

Fraser Black, a business coach at the Stanford Seed and consultant to RDC, commended the centre for its attention to high quality care, affordability and accessible dialysis treatment and health care.

He advised people to avoid salt, smoking, drinking and focus on keeping hypertension down, avoid diabetes and overweight (obesity) and  adopt healthy lifestyle as the best way to avoid kidney disease.

On the possible causes of kidney disease, Dr Chinedu Odum, a Nephrologist and Consultant Physician said: “One of the causes is high blood pressure.

“It is the number one cause of kidney disease in Africa and many people don’t know they have high blood pressure.

“Also, diabetes can be a cause; anyone who has long standing high blood sugar can come down with complications.

“There are environmental and lifestyle causes which include fumes, smokes, drinking alcohol, and herbal mixtures and even bleaching; these have some component which can damage the kidney.

“It is a lot cheaper to prevent kidney damage because once you have kidney damage there is no going back; we plead with people to be more aware of the factors that increase the illness,” he said.

NAN reports that the free screening started with a health walk from the Opebi Roundabout (GT Fountain) and ended at the Alade market.

No fewer than 2, 500 people were screened, counselled and given information by health professionals about what kidneys are, how they function, as well as how to manage their health.

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