Oseyomon Okaiwele, acting Chief Executive Officer, Benin Medical Care (BMC), has decried the low level of awareness of kidney disease, saying that 80 percent of sufferers of the disease are unaware and when it is detected, the disease might already be at the end stage where dialysis is needed.
Okaiwele said despite the need for dialysis services to be rendered to people with failing kidneys, there are a few centres where it can be readily accessed across the country.
The acting chief executive officer, while unveiling the renal dialysis services of the hospital in Benin City, said the unit became needful to decrease the number of patients who deteriorate everyday from failed kidneys by providing treatment through the state-of-the-art dialysis facility.
According to him, a major challenge of chronic kidney disease is late detection. About 80 percent of the people with the disease are unaware and by the time it is detected, the disease is at a stage where the kidneys have failed to the extent that dialysis and transplant is needed.
“In line with our mission to be committed to addressing the health challenges of Nigerians through cutting-edge technology and patient-centric approaches, we are here today to introduce you to our newest department at BMC, the dialysis unit.
“It became imperative to step in as the war against the kidneys of Nigerians gets tougher. Statistics show that more than 20 million Nigerians are living with kidney disease and no fewer than 20,000 of the number are coming down with End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) yearly requiring dialysis or/and transplant to stay alive.
“Of the 20 million Nigerians living with kidney problem, some of them would be in stage one, two, three, four and five. When an individual gets to stage five that is the point where dialysis and transplant is needed. But the estimate is that the number of people who get to stage five, which is the End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) is estimated to be 100 per every million population. So in essence at least 20,000 people every year get to the stage where they need dialysis,” Okaiwele said.
He, however, identified hypertension, diabetes, chronic inflammation of the kidney known as chronic glomerulonephritis, chronic infections such as hepatitis B and C, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), sickle cell anaemia, inherited kidney disease, indiscriminate use of painkillers, abuse of herbal preparation and bleaching creams as the major causes of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Godwin Ehigiamusoe, chairman, board of directors, BMC, on his part, said he made investment in the hospital so as to bring quality healthcare closer to the people which is also in line with the mandate of the lift above poverty organisation.
Ehigiamusoe, who commended the NNPC Benin Medical Staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society for their continuous support, assured that the facility would go a long way to improve the health status of the people.