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Obasanjo Seeks NASS’ Bill To Support People With Kidney Diseases

Obasanjo also appealed to relevant security bodies to help with necessary laws on the emerging organ trafficking in the country


Photo of former president Olusegun Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is seeking the support of the National Assembly to support people with kidney disease in the country, saying there was a need for a bill to that effect.

Obasanjo also appealed to relevant security bodies to help with necessary laws on emerging organ trafficking in the country, especially about cadaveric donations.

Speaking at the 36th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Nephrology with the theme: “Optimizing Dialysis Therapy To Prolong Survival”, in Abeokuta, on Tuesday, he highlighted four areas to address the burden and challenges in the management of kidney disease.

Noting that several strategies could be followed at the same time, he commended the body for its work concerning advocacy, screening, enlightenment and periodic collaborations to reduce the disease’s prevalence, especially among youth and children.

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“The burden of chronic kidney disease is further exacerbated by the high prevalence of these risk factors,” the former President was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.

“Late presentation is also a problem which further leads to increased morbidity and mortality. Many countries in the continent are undergoing rapid epidemiological transitions. They are confronted with the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, in part driven by the adoption of Western lifestyles and rapid urbanization.

“From available reports, 1 out of 7, that is, about 15% of adult Nigerians have kidney failure which cannot be reversed and is life-threatening if left untreated.

“I have also been informed that the prevalence of kidney failure in Africa is higher than anywhere else in the world as an average African is 4 times more likely to develop kidney problems than a Caucasian or Mediterranean race.

“Causes of this disease, Obasanjo stated, “include hypertension, diabetes, kidney infections, genetic, habitual consumption of undefined herbal medications, and chronic analgesic abuse amongst a list of causes.”

He stated that treatment must start with prevention and a healthy lifestyle, while, “in severe cases, apart from drugs, intervention by way of machine treatment (dialysis) or outright replacement (transplantation) are the way out.

“I wish to acknowledge the role of NHIS in providing limited support for only six dialysis sessions, but I want to suggest a need to consider increasing the carrying capacity substantially as obtained in South Africa and Sudan.”

The former President also called for investments in local production of dialysis consumables.