BY CHIOMA OBINNA
Just like the old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine” medical experts who gathered at a community free health screening organised by the MTN Foundation last week in Lagos have said that early diagnosis remains the key to preventing, managing and curing of kidney diseases.
The experts who described kidney disease as one of the chronic life-threatening ailments stressed the need for people to live a healthy lifestyle with a view to guiding against non communicable diseases like kidney ailments.
Speaking at the free screening exercise held at Alimosho General Hospital, in Lagos, the Head, Dialysis Centre of the hospital and a Consultant Nephrologist, Dr. Adekunle Odesina decried that kidney diseases are now common in the country as 20 to 30 per cent of Nigerians have kidney disease.
Adesina regretted that out of the huge number of Nigerians who suffer kidney diseases only a tiny fraction comes for dialysis and great percentage die for lack of access to care.
He further blamed most deaths from kidney diseases on late presentation. “Most Nigerians present late at the hospitals with various complications and symptoms like swollen faces, legs amongst others.
Stressing the need for early diagnosis, Odesina explained that some of the causes of could be sudden while some could be over three months adding that early detection could be managed well.
He warned that untreated diabetes, High Blood Pressure can cause renal impairment. “Sometimes bacteria can affect the kidney blockade of the bladder, drug use, sickle cell anaemia, bleaching agents, amongst others could lead to kidney problems.
Reeling out what he described as seven simple rules to step down kidney disease, he advised that people should exercise, keep the blood pressure controlled, weight control, do not smoke, avoid drug abuse and regular kidney check.
He further noted that untreated anaemia and malaria could lead to kidney failure in children.
Speaking, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Mrs Nonny Ugboma stressed the need for people to see their health as the most valuable
assets they have, adding that the only way to keep to good health is by recognising the importance of prevention.
She advised Nigerians to maintain healthy life styles to keep at bay ailments like kidney disease.
Representative of Ikotun / Idimu Local Government Chairman, Alex Ogunrinde, who stressed the importance of world kidney day described the disease as a terminal disease that could take away every kobo an individual has.
A Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Jacob Awobusuyi also advised the public to visit their doctors if they noticed any change in their urine like foams etc. He said the exercise was to screen and check for diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure amongst others.