Succour will soon come the way of over 30 millions of Nigerians suffering from kidney related diseases otherwise called renal failure, as the House of Representatives passed through second reading the bill which seeks to establish a National Renal Centre.
With about 17,000 new cases of kidney diseases were recorded yearly, Nigeria is also faced with dearth of
Nephrologists, despite the alarming rate of people
diagnosed with kidney disease.
Approximately one in a dozen of the participants evaluated had chronic kidney disease (CKD). In Nigeria, as in many other developing countries, accurate data on the community prevalence of Chronic Kidney Diseas (CKD) is lacking principally due to unavailability of a national renal registry.
Leading the debate on the bill, Bede Eke (PDP-Imo) who sponsored the bill, noted that while the rich can afford to buy the choice of foods, the poor which form the larger chunk of the population cannot afford the resources.
While urging Federal Government to take proactive steps to forestall the GMO products by demonstrating the needed political will to fund the establishment of critical health facilities, the lawmakers emphaised the need for National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) to perform its statutory functions of ensuring that foods and other consumable items are safe for human consumption.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the bill, namely: Edward Pwajok (PDP-Plateau); Beni Lar (PDP-Plateau); Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo); Oghene Egoh (PDP-Lagos); Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) and Joseph Albert, frowned at adulterated foods, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks and drugs in circulation.
The lawmakers who bemoned the huge number of Nigerians invading Indian Embassy for visa to access medical treatment for renal related diseases, harped on the need for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to provide necessary resources for the establishment of Renal Centre in each of the 36 states of the Federation and FCT.
Eke said: “Before now kidney disease or failure was given little attention because it was not rampant, but recently the number of Nigerians had been diagnosed of kidney failure and its mortality rate has risen to an alarming level that government must act quickly to tackle the menace pposed by kidney disease to her citizens.
“The increasing burden of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease presents a challenge for both developed and emerging countries like Nigeria. Medical experts have revealed that more people die every day from kidney related diseases than malaria and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
“Estimates suggest that one out of every seven Nigerias has one stage of chronic kidney disease. Unfortunately, out of 50,000 patients, who should ideally be on dialysis, less than 1,000 are currently on dialysis as at today because of inadequate facilities.
“In most cases patients will wait for weeks to undergo kidney dialysis and most of them end up dying due to delays. The World Health Organization (WHO) statistics reveals that the death reatr from intrinsic kidney and urinary tract disease was 1 million in year 2002, ranking 12th on the list of major causes of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa and indeed, Nigeria. By 2020, according to the report, the burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease will have increased by 130% in Africa alone, and these are diseases that can trigger kidney failure,” Eke lamented.
The Centre when established is to: coordinate various programmed and projects aimed at improving the health, social and economic well-being of victims of kidney disease and other similar related cases; coordinate research and kidney diseases and other related cases with a view to providing solutions to most of the challenges facing the victims of the ailments; coordinate, monitor and advise on all social protection activities of governmental and non-governmental agencies related to renal diseases; maintain a data bank on kidney diseases and other related matter as well as develop a national benchmark for a multi-disciplinary diagnostic team responsible for the diagnosis of kidney diseases and other related cases.
The Centre is also empowered to demand and obtain relevant information, data, statistics and report in matters relating to the cure, prevention and management of kidney diseasew and other related cases; liaise with relevant establishmen within and outside Nigeria in pursuance of the functions of the Centre; initiate and implement programs geared towards supporting victims of renal failure and other related diseases; create awareness on kidney diseases as well as other similarly related cases and act as government agency for catalyzing and mobilizing resources at all tiers of government through the country for the purposes of addressing the challenges of renal diseases and other related cases.
Following the overwhelming support enjoyed by the bill, Yussuuff Lasun, Deputy Speaker who presided over the plenary session referred it to the House Committee o Health Institutions for further legislative action.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja