By Ebele Orakpo
The first ever pediatric kidney transplantation in Nigeria was successfully carried out at the St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos recently.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Director of Clinical Services and Head, Dialysis and Transplant Unit of the hospital, Dr. Ebun Bamgboye, said the transplantations carried out on two patients, were sponsored by the Nathan Kidney Foundation with assistance from Transplant Links Charity (TLC), a UK registered charity that saves the lives of children and adults in the developing world who suffer from fatal kidney disease, and St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos.
Also speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ayo Shonibare, consultant urologist/transplant surgeon said there was need for all hands to be on the deck to be able â€œto manage a very costly disease in a poor environment.â€ He emphasised the need for awareness creation among the populace, saying: â€œA lot of patients and physicians are not educated about kidney disease,â€ hoping that the media will help in this regard.
Bamgboye stated that at least, an estimated 15,000 new cases of kidney failure emerge every year in Nigeria and out of these, only 1,000 are undergoing one form of treatment or the other leaving the rest without any form of care.
Dr. Andrew Ready, member of Transplant Links and consultant surgeon at the University Hospital Birmingham, while praising the Nigerian team, described the feat as a milestone as a level of expertise was needed to be able to carry out pediatric kidney transplantation.
It would be recalled that in September 2008, the first set of laparoscopic donor nephrectomies in sub-Saharan Africa were carried out in the hospital with the assistance of TLC.
Nathan Kidney Foundation, a non-governmental organisation aims to raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem of kidney failure as well as its causes and management and how these can be prevented.