As the world marks the 2020 World Kidney Day on Thursday march 12th 2020, the Nigerian Association of Nephrology point out that 700 kidney transplants have so far been performed in the country.
However, according to the President of the association, prof. Fatiu Arogundade, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the figure was based on a survey by the association around transplant centres in the country. NAN reports that World Kidney Day (WKD), marked annually on the second Thursday in March, creates awareness on the importance and functions of the kidneys and need to take care of the kidneys to avoid diseases. Kidney diseases occur when the kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should.
The theme for
2020 WKD is: “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere – from Prevention
to Detection’’. According to the medicalnewstoday.com, the kidneys are a pair
of bean-shaped organs present in all vertebrates with important functions in
The kidneys remove waste products from the body, maintain balanced electrolyte levels and regulate blood pressure. Arogundade, who is also the President, Transplant Association of Nigeria told NAN that the figure was low because majority of those that developed kidney disease could not afford the treatment. “It is not because the personnel are not there, it’s not because the facilities are not available in Nigeria, we are further expanding our personnel. We have about 15 centres that can do it now. “St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, started kidney transplantation in Nigeria. The Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital followed two years later and then the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. “Private establishments like the Zenith Medical & Kidney Centre, Abuja, are also doing the procedure and they’ve transplanted the most in the country. They have done more than 300 transplants already. “We have another private centre in Abuja that is also transplanting and I would say, government centres that have transcended are still transplanting,’’ he said. According to him, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) also do transplants but the private centres have more sustainable programme.
On why private
facilities are topping the chart in kidney transplantation procedure,
Arogundade said: “This is mainly because those that go there are people that
are affluent in the environment and can afford it. “Those who raise money to
afford the treatment, most times will also want to go outside for treatment; go
to India, Pakistan. “Many patients also travelled because they could not source
for donors locally and because they could not do that, they are able to
pay for donors somewhere which is totally condemnable and unethical. “They
are not able to provide a donor here but they go outside to get a donor, get
transplant done and then come back. “What we have seen also is that the outcome
of such are equally not good enough. The patients don’t do well.’’ He
urged governments to make the prevention, detection and management of kidney
diseases a priority as well as increase funding allocation to same.