Uyo – As part of efforts to reduce the growing cases of kidney failure in the state, Akwa Ibom government has donated drugs for the treatment of patients with renal diseases.
This is coming on the heels of the acquisition of dialysis equipment by the state government for those in need of specialised treatment of renal diseases.
Udeme Ekrikpo, kidney disease specialist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking on “The Impact of Oil Exploration Activities in the Ecosystem by Oil and Gas Firms in the Niger Delta, during the capacity development workshop, to mark the 2017 week of the Correspondents’ chapel of the NUJ.
Ekprikpo who said researches have proven gas flaring and oil spills to be largely responsible for kidney failure, however expressed relief that the state government had taken steps to supplement the cost of kidney disease treatment in the state.
The specialist expressed concern that the number of patients coming for treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis at the teaching hospital, especially those from oil producing communities has become very alarming.
This he said informed his decision to put forward a very passionate appeal to Governor Udom Emmanuel, whom he said immediately intervened through provision of drugs to support those under various levels of treatments and others who had kidney transplants.
“The number of patients coming for dialysis is alarming and the cost is prohibitive, it could cost up to N500,000 for four sessions of dialysis and not many people can afford this,’’ he said.
The expert who attributed the increase in the cases of kidney failure to many environmental factors as well as non communicable including hypertension noted that no fewer than one out of every three adults in Akwa Ibom State living in crude oil producing communities suffers from high blood pressure.
He suggested universal health coverage to expand access to healthcare services in the country, adding that other countries with less endowment have moved to provide their citizens with subsidised treatment.
“If we have universal coverage scheme and with as little of N1 billion, it would be easy to provide anti hypertensive drugs for those requiring treatment, this will help to bring down the incidence of kidney failure in the country”.
“It is no rocket science, this is something that can be done, even if it starts with a pilot scheme as a university health coverage would ameliorate the high cost of treatment for kidney disease and reduce cases of kidney failures”. He said
He said it is possible for the government to provide anti hypertensive drugs for those in need with a proper health scheme and planning.
Latest News – Independent Newspapers