World Kidney Day: How to prevent kidney disease – Expert

A Consultant Nephrologist at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr. Yemi Raji, urged Nigerians to embrace prevention as the best treatment for kidney problems.

Raji made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Thursday.

He spoke at the 2023 World Kidney Day celebration.

According to him, Kidney disease has become a huge burden all over the world, adding that Nigeria with its growing economy is not left out.

He put the prevalence rate of the disease at between 16 per cent and 26 per cent at the community level.

“But chronic kidney disease accounts for eight per cent to 10 per cent of all medical admissions. I have observed over the last decade that the burden of the disease has increased more in our environment. So, as part of reducing this burden all over the world, every year, world kidney day is commemorated on the second Thursday of every March. The purpose is to create awareness about kidney disease, the problem and causes, and how to prevent it.

“For this year, the theme is ‘Kidney health for all: Preparing for the unexpected and supporting the vulnerable. We have a lot of vulnerable people in our community, such as the motherless, refugees, and Internally Displaced Persons. We are taking the message to them to educate them on kidney disease and how they can prevent it.

“In our environment, kidney disease is a big burden, particularly, if the kidney has been damaged completely. People need to start going for dialysis or kidney transplantation, which is very expensive. So, how many people can afford this? That is why we must find a way to prevent rather than treat. This is why prevention is quite important,” Raji said.

He, therefore, admonished sufferers of diabetes and hypertension or other ailments that could cause kidney disease to go to appropriate places where they could get treatment.

Raji said that there were a lot of things people indulge in that could cause kidney disease, including the abuse of painkiller drugs.

“People go to the pharmacy and chemists to buy all sorts of painkillers and this has a bad effect on their kidney or damages it. People should avoid self-medication. They should go to the hospital, whenever they are sick. People should also learn to take a lot of water because it helps the kidney. They should also reduce their salt intake and as much as possible take lots of fruits,” he said.

Raji further urged Nigerians to avoid packaged foods and to visit hospitals regularly and not only when they are very sick.

“Government is not doing enough and, of course, can’t do it alone. That is why it is good to do preventive care. If the government comes to support, they should make dialysis free to reduce the burden suffered by people with the disease,” Raji said. 


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