A Professor of Medicine, Rasheed Balogun, says that healthy women with two functioning kidneys can also be living organ donors for those with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), otherwise known as kidney failure.
Balogun, a nephrologist at the University of Virginia, United States of America, made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Ibadan.
According to him, the gender of a donor should not be a determinant factor, provided such a donor is healthy and has two functioning kidneys.
Balogun also disabused the notion that women of childbearing age could not be living donors.
“A healthy person has two kidneys but does not require both kidneys to remain healthy.
“A totally healthy person can donate his or her kidney to someone who is ill and has kidney failure as long as that prospective donor does not have kidney disease or one of the illnesses that are prone to kidney diseases, “he said.
“Women frequently get pregnant and during pregnancy, the demand for kidney function increases.
“When a woman gets pregnant, the demand for the kidneys will rise and for that reason, some people will say that a woman who is still in the child-bearing age and who is likely to get pregnant in future should avoid donating her kidney.
“However, it is not a rule that we will say it is cast in stone. A woman can still make do with one kidney, even though pregnancy constitutes a higher risk,” he said.
According to him, kidney transplant remains the best treatment option for a person facing kidney failure, adding that it increases the chances of living longer and healthier life for such person.
“Kidney failure can be a gradual process and symptoms may not be seen until the disease is very advanced.
“Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to remove waste and maintain fluid balance in the body. Without some form of treatment, this will result in death.
“The two types of treatment for kidney failure are dialysis and transplantation.
“Although Kidney transplantation is the best treatment, dialysis is, however, more available than a kidney transplant,” he said.
The nephrologist said that there were two different kinds of dialysis, that is, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis which, he said, could also help a person with chronic kidney disease live meaningful life.
Balogun however, appealed to the government to develop programmes that would make kidney failure treatment inclusive and affordable to all in order to save lives.