Vice president, Nigerian Association of Nephrologists, Dr Adaeze Asinobi, has raised alarm over increasing case of kidney problem in Nigeria, stating that about 15 per cent of all Nigerians have some form of kidney disease.
Asinobi spoke at a World Kidney Day celebration 2018 with the theme “Kidneys and Women’s health” by the University College Hospital (UCH), at Bodija market in Ibadan on Thursday.
She said many of the cases of kidney disease were as a result of undiagnosed and untreated cases of hypertension and diabetes.
Asinobi, a consultant paediatric nephrologist, while expressing concern on the rate at which Nigerians were developing diabetes, said that diabetes had displaced chronic glomerulonephritis as the second major cause of chronic kidney disease in the country.
She declared: “chronic kidney disease is a major burden. People need to know that this is a major problem given that one to two out of every 10 has the disorder among us and we should know and do everything to prevent it.”
The expert said women were more likely to develop kidney disease than men due to factors such as pregnancy-induced hypertension, unwanted pregnancies resulting to abortion, and auto-immune diseases (a condition where the body fights itself).
Dr Asinobi said children like adults can develop kidney disease, adding that the prevention of the problem should start in the womb.
She explained that children born premature or with inborn defects said a higher risk of having kidney disease in the future.
According to her, “once the kidneys are formed at about the age of 36 weeks inside the womb, no more kidney cells can be formed.”
She asked that government should equip Primary Healthcare and secondary health care centres to be able to screen for the disease.
According to her, “many tests, including urine and blood tests can be done at every level of our care. If abnormalities are detected, we can handle them at an early stage. The screening will be the best way for us to go.”
The expert, however, urged the government to include kidney failure treatment in its national health insurance scheme, saying its cost of treatment by out of pocket spending greatly impoverishes.
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