A general health practitioner in Lagos, Dr. Kingsley Aboh, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that there are procedures to follow before kidney transplant can take place in the hospital.
Aboh, said it is always advisable to take kidney of a close relative who must be an adult.
“A minor cannot donate kidney even though he voluntarily wants to donate it. He/she must be mature enough (from 18 years and above) to give consent,” he added.
When asked if one needs to pay money for a donor’s kidney, the health practitioner said the law kicks against it, adding that it’s supposed to be voluntary.
“However, the law is not fully implemented in Nigeria. We have seen cases where people were being paid huge amount of money for donating their kidney,” he said.
He disclosed that kidney transplant can be successfully done in Nigeria, adding that there is no need to travel abroad to do it.
Similarly, a Nephrologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Rotimi William Braimoh, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that the treatment of kidney disease is very expensive, hence, the need to prevent it at all cost.
For instance, he said, a session of dialysis cost between N27, 000 and N40,000, while a kidney patient needs dialysis three times a week.
“On the other hand, kidney transplantation which is the best option, cost between N10 million to N12 million,” Braimoh said.
He, however, advised that prevention is the way to go, as not all Nigerians can afford the cost of kidney transplant or dialysis.
“Even when you can afford it, it takes forever to see someone who can willingly donate kidney that matches that of a kidney patient,” he added.
He explained that Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a slow and progressive loss of kidney function over several years and if untreated, could lead to kidney failure.
Braimoh lamented the rate at which kidney disease is affecting Nigerians is becoming alarming.
He revealed that about six per cent of Nigerians have kidney disease and expressed the fear that in the next 20 years, the prevalence will rise to about 10 to 15 per cent because conditions like diabetes, hypertension among other diseases which are risk factors of kidney disease are increasing in the country.
He buttressed that ,“Change in lifestyle, high prevalence of diabetes, and hypertension are increasing the prevalence of kidney disease. Also, because of the poor living conditions of most Nigerians, they are likely to patronise herbal concoctions for their ailments, which can damage the kidney over time, and therefore, increasing the incidence of kidney disease as well’’.
The health practitioner further disclosed that kidney disease can be detected early with urine and blood test.
“Early kidney damage can be detected with urine test, so that even before it becomes worse, the treatment can be started. If we start the treatment early, the patient can live a normal life without the kidney failing.”
The Nephrologist said kidney disease can be prevented with healthy lifestyle and healthy diet, drinking lots of water, routine medical check- up, at least, once in a year, as well as maintaining a physically active life.
He said other things to avoid are pain killer drugs, herbal drugs and fatty foods and for those who are hypertensive and diabetic, he urged them to take their treatments seriously, to avoid kidney disease.