Home Lifestyle Health World Kidney Day: Rivers Hospital Douse Fears, Says Diseases Not Death Sentence

World Kidney Day: Rivers Hospital Douse Fears, Says Diseases Not Death Sentence


World Kidney Day: Rivers Hospital Douses Fears, Says Diseases Not Death Sentence

Nelson Chidiebere, Port Harcourt

The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has explained that kidney disease whether at its acute or chronic stages is not a death sentence, but an anomaly that can be managed.

The hospital also said though the cost of managing the diseases can be expensive when tackled with the appropriate medication and procedure, the disease progression can be slowed down and sometimes halted.

Speaking at an enlightenment campaign organised by the hospital to mark the 2024 World Kidney Day themed “Kidney for all, advancing equitable access to care and optimal medication practice”, at the hospital and at Alakahia Primary and Secondary Schools, the hospital’s Medical Advisory Council Chairman, Prof Datonye Alasia, said the hospital is a major centre for the care of kidney diseases with international recognition.

He said, “Kidney diseases in its acute or chronic stage is not a death sentence, but it, however, comes with a lot of burden or morbidity and if not checked or properly treated can lead to death and increase morbidity rate, that is why even in Nigeria you hear a lot of kidney failures and the challenge is that the cost of kidney care is expensive so you could imagine those on dialysis.

“Also the cost of a renal transplant is actually a big problem, so that’s why this year the theme is Advancing Equitable Access and Optimal Medical Practice. Access means that you want as many people as possible who have kidney issues to be captured and that is why the advocacy is to ensure that kidney care is always captured under health insurance so that more people can have access to it because it’s very costly.

“Our facility is a major centre for care of kidneys not just locally but globally. Our centre is a centre that is in partnership with the International Society of Nephrology and other institutions outside and currently our centre has been granted mentorship status, so as we are speaking, we are mentorship facility for the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, RSUTH, we also have partnership with the Rivers State Primary Health Care Boards where we are supporting community-based kidney care programmes and right now we are also increasing our renal care services to also move on to renal transplantation.”

Alasia, who identified hypertension, diabetes, indiscriminate use of analgesics, antibiotics and unregulated herbal medications as major contributors to kidney diseases, advising members of the public to live healthy lifestyles to avoid kidney related problems.

“Our key focus especially in our own setting where the resources are not there is to prevent people from getting to that extreme stage. People doing things that would endanger their kidneys should stop, so adequate taking of water, avoid harmful substances and also herbal medications that are not standardized, sometimes indiscriminate use of medications, whether painkillers that are not prescribed including use of cosmetics that contain mercury.

“Also if you have any condition like hypertension or diabetes, those things that are drivers of kidney disease, you have to try and ensure that you control them well. So we always want to emphasize preventive care a lot because the resources are not there to care for this ailments.”

Also speaking a Professor of Medicine and Nephrology at the University of Port Harcourt, who is also a Consultant Nephrologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Pedro Emem Chioma, said about 850 million persons suffer from kidney diseases, while 3.1 million persons die from the disease globally.

Professor Chioma warned members the public to be wary of unprescribed drugs, as well as excessive intake of salt as those substances causes hypertension and engenders kidney diseases.

On her part, Professor Ifeoma Anochie, a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and Professor of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt who supervised the screening of about 400 pupils above the age of 10 during the event at Alakahia Primary and Secondary Schools, said the screening of is important as infants whose mothers abuse medication during pregnancy could come down with kidney diseases when they are born.

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