Prompt treatment of malaria can prevent kidney disease, failure — Experts

Experts have said with the increasing cases of malaria, malaria in children should be promptly diagnosed and treated to prevent them from developing complications of the disease, including kidney failure. 

A consultant Pediatric Nephrologist of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Dr Adebowale Ademola has revealed that kidney failure, a complication of a severe form of malaria is a common cause of death in children if not prevented. 

According to the expert, about 30 children every year are brought to the UCH for kidney injury, adding that about 15 of these children have severe malaria which has affected their kidneys and so would have to undergo kidney dialysis. 

He said studies have found that children with a severe form of malaria, including cerebral malaria, are likely to die from malaria when their kidney functions are affected. “Severe malaria is more common within the rainy season. 

Anybody that notices signs and symptoms like the yellowish eye and is passing coca-cola colour urine should come to the hospital in time so that treatment can be started in time. 

“So 15 children every year may have severe malaria and the kidneys will be affected and will need dialysis at the UCH, Ibadan, and consider the number of children that are affected in Nigeria. It is pretty high. And this is a condition that can be prevented when individuals sleep in insecticidal treated nets and when people have symptoms that look like malaria, they should go and do the test to check whether what is been experienced is malaria and then treat promptly,” Dr Ademola said. 

A consultant paediatrician at the UCH, Professor Adebola Orimadegun, said haemoglobin, a byproduct of red blood cells destruction in an individual with malaria causes what is called acute kidney injury, although many children will recover if well-managed. 

While some children with kidney injury as a result of a severe form of malaria if well managed will recover, Professor Orimadegun added, “Just like with any type of vital organ, the injury will definitely leave some complications and consequently will lead to the destruction of the kidney function.” 

 

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