There is a growing consensus among nephrologists that the rising number of renal (kidney) disease may be a sign that the country may already be experiencing the advent of a pandemic. The conclusion was made in Benin City on Tuesday at the 2nd Ordinary General Meeting/Scientific Conference of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Edo State Health Management Board.
A consultant and case manager at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin City, Dr. Osariemen Osunbor, noted that kidney disease has become a global burden that requires urgent and concerted efforts. Dr Osunbor, who described the rising incidences of the disease in the country as alarming, revealed that the disease has risen astronomically to become one of the major causes of death across the world.
Kidney disease, according to Dr Osunbor, occupies the number 27 position as major causes of death in 1990, moved two steps down at 18 in 2010 but now occupies 10th position on the global scale, noting that HIV which ranked higher than kidney disease as cause of death in 1990 is in number 18 while kidney disease is at number 10 and still sliding.
“CKD ranked among the casues of premature deaths. Its estimated prevalence is between 16 to 18 percent globally though it varies from country to country.
The disease is constituting a drain on the economy of countries as it majorly affects the economically productive age of between 25 and 45 years.”
Dr. Osunbor attributed the rising case of kidney diseases to lack of awareness and inadequate enlightenment campaign on the subject matter. He therefore called for more awareness programmes sign posted by regular check ups including more government intervention by way of funding through health insurance schemes.
“There should also be awareness and enlightenment programmes about kidney disease,” he said.
Although there is no generally acceptable statistics on kidney disease prevalence in the country, experts are united in the belief that about 17 million Nigerians are contending with various stages of the disease.
Experts say kidney disease is preventable and that many of its causes are treatable but only if the disease is diagnosed early enough. They insist that underlying ailments such as diabetes and hypertension must be well managed in order to prevent kidney failure by slowing down its deterioration rate
“CKD is preventable and many of the causes are treatable if patients are diagnosed early enough. Diabetes and hypertension can be well managed to prevent renal failure. This could be done by slowing down the deterioration rate of the kidney, thereby ensuring adequate management of the underlying conditions. Patients must always ensure they meet their doctors at the right time as well as take their medications as prescribed. If this is done, there are chances that the rate of death associated with kidney failure would be reduced.”
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