A Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Ebun Bamgboye, has called for the implementation of programmes for the prevention, screening and treatment of kidney diseases.
Bamgboye, also a Clinical Director at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said that the number of patients with End-stage renal disease (ESRD) would continue to increase unless the delivery of optimal preventive medical treatment to prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease is addressed.
“The leading contributors to this burden are diabetes and hypertension.
“Fortunately, kidney diseases can be prevented and progression can be slowed with early identification and treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease.
”There are cost-effective models of screening; such as diabetic nephropathy test, screening other high-risk patients and treatment of kidney diseases that can be integrated within the health care.
‘’Patients with the end-stage renal disease currently on management in all the dialysis units in Nigeria are less than 2,000,’’ Bamgboye said.
He said that kidney diseases disproportionally affected disadvantaged populations and reduce the number of productive years of life.
‘’The prospect of financial burden further discourages many patients from undergoing treatment, thereby leading to preventable premature morbidity and death.
“One-third of the global population is at increased risk of chronic kidney disease because they have one or more of the risk factors associated with the conditions.
‘’These include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, being aged 60 years or over, family history of kidney failure, having established cardiovascular disease.
‘’Kidney disease care represents perhaps the greatest challenge in achieving universal health coverage in low and middle-income countries due to the high cost of existing treatments and high disease burden,’’ Bamgboye said.
He said that achieving universal health coverage would enable timely access to care and prevent thousands of households from falling into poverty due to kidney disease each year.
‘’Commencement of the National Health Insurance Scheme with extension to ensure support for end-stage renal disease care is very important.
‘’There should always be regular public enlightenment on the causes, methods of prevention and management of the end-stage renal disease by focusing on the relative safety of kidney donation.
‘’Comprehensive health benefits packages must also prioritise early screening and treatment of risk factors such as diabetes and the implementation of public health interventions to prevent disease progression,’’ Bamgboye said.