Nephrologist worries over rising cases of kidney disorders

Nephrologist worries over rising cases of kidney disorders

  • Says UBTH has prioritized management of kidney diseases

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.

He pointed that the factors aggravating the disorders are also the rise.

Speaking to journalists at the Teaching Hospital in in Edo State recently, Odije said that the ailment is not just wrecking havocs in the state alone but across Nigeria as a whole.

He said: “The last population studies we did in a village not far away from here showed that close to one third of the public are beginning to have problems with their kidney and that’s a terrible figure.

“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 the number of patients we are having is on the increase,” Odije explainedd.

On why the number of cases are increasing, he pointed: “Hypertension, diabetes, other unresolved infections are on the rise; things that weren’t there some years back, are on the rise. 

“A lot of people are now becoming hypertensive at a younger age and that causes close to half of the number of kidney diseases that we have.

“Use of drugs are on the rise especially the ‘feel good’ drugs. In Nigeria, there’s this habit that is very common, when they finish working in the evenings they come home and tell the chemist to give them a mixture of five to seven drugs and then those people will be putting ibuprofen, diclofenac, aspirin and they 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 itemized.

Speaking on what stands UBTH out in the management of the disorders, he noted that the management of the hospital are deliberately installing more equipment while 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. They are doing quite a number of things.

“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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