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The Nigerian Association of Nephrology, YAYA has urged the Nigerian government and non-governmental organizations to do more to reduce the cost of treatment for more than 20 million people battling chronic kidney disease across the country.

According to the association’s president, Dr. Adanze Asinobithe cost of treating the disease is too expensive, especially for low-income people, thus the urgent need for such interventions.

Asinobi stated this during the Association’s 35th Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting, with the theme: Current Concepts in Acute Kidney Injury, LRA Prevention and Management held in Kano northwestern state of Nigeria.

She said that interventions by governments, NGOs and other stakeholders so far are not enough to minimize the cost of treating the disease, so more action was needed.

“Kidney disease is a huge burden for Nigerians and even worldwide with intensive cost management that demands more efforts from both government and relevant stakeholders like NGOs to address treatment and scale up.

“Due to the expensive nature of treatment, we see people dying in their prime from kidney disease, which is very distressing for us nephrologists who see them on a daily basis.

“About 10 per cent of admissions to our tertiary hospitals are due to chronic kidney disease, which translates to 20 million Nigerians considering our population of 200 million.

“This does not include cases of acute kidney disease and those in rural areas, who do not have access to standard hospitals where they can get a proper diagnosis.” She explained.

She said that the provision of the Nigerian government through the National Health Insurance Authority, NHIAin recent years, six free dialysis sessions for people with kidney disease, was not enough as most Nigerians are not on the plan.

The President stressed that chronic kidney disease is not included in the free sessions of the Health Insurance.

Regarding what the Nephrologists are doing, Dr. Adanze said that the association for its part has launched campaigns to raise awareness among the population about preventive measures and education about the disease, especially the intake of analgesics.

“We, for our part, have decided to educate people on how to prevent this disease.

“People should stop sponsoring pain relievers like non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs, of which ibuprofen is one, because they are capable of damaging the kidney.

“Pregnant women should also watch the medications they use, especially antihypertensives, to protect their unborn babies from possible congenital kidney disease in the future.” said the president of the NAN

She said Nigerians like Americans and other European countries should push for inclusion in health insurance plans to reduce the cost of treatment, especially for those suffering from kidney disease.

“In the 1960s and 1970s, Americans and Europeans fought for and got it included in their health insurance plans. In Nigeria we can also get it.

“While we fight for the government to make health insurance available to people, people need to take the right preventative measures to protect themselves,” said Dr. Adanze.

The four-day conference, which began January 10-14, has sub-themes on: use of continuous renal replacement therapy in developing countries; chronic kidney disease of unknown origin; Pregnancy-related acute kidney injury.

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Credit source: https://von.gov.ng/association-seeks-solutions-for-nigerians-battling-kidney-disease/

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