Ilorin – An estimated 850 million people are currently affected by Kidney disease, while the global burden is projected to become the 5th most common cause of death by 2040.
This was disclosed by Dr Raji Razak, the Kwara Commissioner f or Health, while delivering a paper at a seminar to commemorate World Kidney Day in Ilorin.
The programme was organised by Worthylife Education and Health Foundation in collaboration with Kwara state Ministry of Health and Kwara Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
This year’s World Kidney Day is themed: “Kidney prevention to detection and equitable access to care”.
It is a global awareness day that is set aside worldwide to sensitise and raise awareness on the prevention of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD).
Razak, who was represented by Dr Michael Oguntoye, the state Director, Primary Health Care Development Agency, said that one of the primary goals of World Kidney Day is to educate the public about the management of CKD and to encourage people to consider kidney donation and transplants as an effective way to help those with kidney failure.
He said CKD is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure and the cost of dialysis and major transplantation consume two to three per cent of the annual healthcare budget in high income countries spent on less than 0.03 per cent of the total population of these countries.
Razak stated that kidney disease can be prevented and progression to end stage kidney disease can be delayed with appropriate access to basic diagnostics and early treatment.
The commissioner reiterated state government’s commitment to partner with relevant organisations to ensure that healthcare services get to the people of the state, especially those at the grassroots.
He explained that a team from the ministry is presently in communities screening people for kidney disease and about five hundred people have been screened so far today.
Razak noted that the state government would continue to create awareness on kidney disease, calling on the people of the state to make themselves available for the screening as early detention is crucial before irreversible damage.
He added that the renal unit at the General Hospital Ilorin has been put in place, pledging the determination of the government to ensure that kidney and other related diseases are reduced to the bearest minimum.
The Chief Executive Director of Worthylife Education and Health Foundation, Mrs Ruth Abayomi, said CKD is not curable and could trigger other illnesses like heart attacks or stroke leading to premature death or disability.
According to her, the best way for reducing the human and economic toll related to chronic kidney disease lies in prevention and early detection, stressing the need for Nigerians to reduce their weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise.
Abayomi, who called for more funding for training of health personnel on kidney healthcare, also appealed to the media to increase campaign on the dos and don’t as regards to kidney, saying that majority of the communities have access to radio stations.
The Chairman of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mallam Umar Abdulwahab, called on journalists to focus their reports on health issues towards creating awareness on danger they portends.
Mallam Abdulwahab also stressed the need for media practitioners to pay attention to their health, urging them not to only report health issues and challenges, but get themselves involved in health.