Lagos – Basking in the euphoria of the first successful kidney transplant in the country, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, says it aims to provide cost-effective transplants to Nigerians.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Adewale Oke made the assertion on Thursday at news conference to mark the first successful kidney transplant by the hospital’s indigenous resident doctors.
He said that Dr Jacob Awobusuyi, a consultant Nephrologist, led eight other doctors to achieve the feat.
Oke said the hospital had come of age with respect to kidney transplant, adding that the institution would continue to provide excellent service in kidney transplant to the populace.
“We had the kidney transplant the previous day and by now the patients, both the donor and the recipient are doing fine with no
“Excellence is what LASUTH is known for, and this explains why we are having this formidable team of indigenous doctors who performed the operation successfully.
“What LASUTH had done is to compliment the effort of the Cardiac and Renal Centre at Gbagada probably at a cheaper rate because LASUTH has the responsibility of providing grassroots healthcare.
“LASUTH is taking up the challenge of renal care in Nigeria and this is our own effort in providing the care to the people as doctors in public service,’’ he said.
Oke said the management was sending the message to the world that LASUTH was ready to take up the challenge of kidney transplant in
“We have come of age and I am sure that we will improve on what we have infastructurally, we cannot claim to have it all, but the general
public should expect the best at affordable rate.
“LASUTH is also ready for the traffic this successful LASUTH might come with, we believe we have what it takes to handle those that would be coming here for treatment; we have structures on ground.
“Kidney transplant cannot be free, but we will make it cost-effective and we will treat patients according to their cases because they must
fulfill all the requirements.
“Travelling abroad comes with many expenses like flight tickets for two people, hotel and surgery bills,’’ the chief medical director said.
Oke said that the cost of treatment in Nigeria could not be compared with what obtained in other countries which, he noted, was higher in
the U.S and the U.K.
Contributing, the head of the transplant team, Awobusuyi, said the idea of the transplant in LASUTH was muted three years ago to
stem the rising medical tourism for kidney transplant patients.
“To have this successful transplant, our team visited places like Brazil, Kenya and the U.K. over the three years to get adequately
trained for the transplant and confident with the training.
“We have had our patients travel without our knowledge to India but came back with some complications. So, to stem this we
decided to have our own here.
“We want to offer Nigerians the opportunity to get treated here though we also have other transplant centres; we hope to bring the
cost of transplantation to Nigerians at affordable rate.
“We don’t want to stop at this, we are also developing a programme that is stable and ensure the patients receive the best at an
affordable rate,’’ he said.
Awobusuyi also said that the renal transplantation still needed more awareness and education and also, steps must be followed before
transplantation could take place.
“The first step in transplant is to have a donor and take care of him, his kidney will be removed and then the second surgery is to put
the kidney into the recipient who had the kidney problem.
“The time for the surgery is about two and half hours for the donor and three and half hour for the recipient, because the kidney still
has to go through some tests.
“We will also treat our patients like kings to encourage them. We are also appealing to Nigerians to have the heart of donating their
kidneys to those who need them because they have nothing to lose.
“In Nigeria, we have different cultural beliefs. In Brazil where we went to, they also had the same attitude at first but with more
awareness from the media; they were able to overcome it.
“In Brazil, about 95 per cent of the donations are from those who donated before their death, so, when they are on life support machine
the kidney would be harvested before they are brain dead,’’ he said.
Awobusuyi, however said that the future of kidney transplantation is bright in Nigeria considering the abundance of qualified professionals that could handle it better. (NAN)