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Nephrologist Raises Alarm Over Worsening Cases Of Kidney Disease In Nigeria

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A Consultant Nephrologist at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Dr Ojeh Oziegbe Odije, has expressed worry over the rising cases of kidney failure in Nigeria. Pointing that the factors aggravating the disorders are also on the rise.

In an interview with journalists recently at the hospital in Benin City, Dr. Odije states that the ailment is not just wrecking havocs in the state alone but across Nigeria as a whole.

“I have been more or less with this kidney unit since it started around 1999 and at that particular time, we probably diagnose three or four patients a day.

“But what we have now is that in UBTH at times, we diagnose as many as 10 to13 a day. In addition, there are about four dialysis centers in Benin that equally operate at full capacity”

“We used to be able to provide all the services that the town requires but now, we are beginning to find out that there are five dialyisis centers working at full capacity as the number of patients we are having is on the increase,” he explained.

On why the number of cases are increasing, he pointed: “Hypertension, diabetes, other unresolved infections are on the rise; things that were not in existence some years back, are on the rise.

“Many people are now becoming hypertensive at a younger age and that causes close to half of the number of kidney diseases that exist, the use of drugs are on the rise especially the ‘feel good’ drugs.

Moving further, mentioned that in Nigeria, there’s a habit very common among so many Individuals most of them go to chemist and request to be given a mixture of five to seven drugs and then those chemist will include drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, aspirin and then pack all those drugs for them.

“They take those and they feel happy because they feel stronger. But it causes a cumulative damage on the system.
“Our Western lifestyle is also making diabetes to increase. Now, sugar is so much part of our diet, minerals and all those things that contain a lot of sugar or sweet things encourage diabetes to increase and that causes kidney damage, Odije said.

He disclosed that UBTH is now installing more equipment and also training more nephrologists.

“Management takes pain to ensure that our dialysis machines are up to date and are new. In fact, now what we are waiting for is more space to install the dialysis machines that management had already procured.

“We have biomedical engineers posted in the unit. The Engineers are specifically employed for renal unit and they are there to fix the machines,” he explained.


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