By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo —THE Akwa Ibom Government has been commended for providing drug for the treatment of patients with renal diseases as part of its efforts to reduce the growing cases of kidney failure in the state.
This came following the acquisition of dialysis equipment by the state government for those in need of specialised treatment of renal diseases.
Dr. Udeme Ekrikpo, kidney disease specialist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH, who made the commendation, yesterday, while delivering a lecture on “The Impact of Oil Exploration Activities in the Ecosystem by Oil and Gas Firms in the Niger Delta,” expressed delight on the efforts of the state government.
He said: “The number of patients coming for dialysis is alarming and the cost is prohibitive. It could cost up to N500,000 for four sessions of dialysis and not many people can afford this. So I also make a passionate appeal to the state government for assistance.”
The expert who attributed the increase in the cases of kidney failure to many environmental factors as well as non communicable diseases, including hypertension, noted that one out of every three adults in Akwa Ibom State living in crude oil producing communities suffers from high blood pressure.
He suggested Universal Health Coverage to expand access to healthcare services in the country, adding that other countries with less endowment have moved to provide their citizens with subsidised treatment.
“If we have Universal Coverage Scheme and with as little of N1 billion, it will be easy to provide anti hypertensive drugs for those requiring treatment. This will help bring down the incidence of kidney failure in the country.
“It is no rocket science. This is something that can be done even if it starts with a pilot scheme. The university health coverage will ameliorate the high cost of treatment for kidney disease and reduce cases of kidney failures.”