By CHIOMA OBINNA
“I say wao-oooh….! today because I feel very proud of my country that dialysis patients like me in Nigeria can receive equal dialysis services as it is done in London. It is really exciting news for me because my experience here indicates there is still a chance for us without a kidney transplant.”
These were words of Mrs. Bola Fashola, the first dialysis patient at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute- Metta.
Fashola, who resides in London, said the experience had enabled her overcome earlier fears about poor quality dialysis services in Nigeria.
“I am happy I was here and I have tested and I have conquered the fear.” She told Good Health Weekly.”
The 55-year-old who has been down with the ailment for a year and half noted: “It is the same service as in London. It is lovely having it in my own country.
At the moment, I am here for a holiday, I will be going back to London and whenever I go there, I will spread the news. I am really impressed with what they are doing in my country.”
Fashola who could not give the specific cost of dialysis in London, however said it is more expensive than in Nigeria.
She said she had not undergone a kidney transplant in London, because her doctors advised she could only do so after five years on dialysis.
The Chief Medical Director of the health institution, Dr. Yewande Jinadu, said FMC, Ebute Metta decided to have its own dialysis centre because of the increasing number of patients with kidney challenges at the hospital.
“The hospital was making too many referrals for a period of three months. We had to stop referrals to the dialysis centres at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) because they were overwhelmed by renal patients.
On his part, Michael Konyeha who is also Snr. Technical Service Executive representing Rodot Nigeria, the company which supplied the equipment, explained that patients with acute and end-stage kidney failure who required renal replacement therapy would need dialysis at least three times a week.
“Approximately 1,500 liters of blood are filtered by a healthy person’s kidneys each day. We could not live if waste products were not removed from our kidneys. People whose kidneys either do not work properly or not at all experience a buildup of waste in their blood.
“Without dialysis the amount of waste products in the blood would increase and eventually reach levels that would cause coma and death. So when you do dialysis, it removes toxins or drugs from the blood”
Administrative Officer of the Critical Care Managemengy Company at the centre, Dr. Dende Kuteyi said there was a sharp rise in such medical cases and attributted it to injection of drugs, herbal mixtures and high prevelance of hypertension and diabetes.