Early detection of kidney disease helps prevent complications —Experts

Medical experts have stressed the importance of early detection of kidney disease, noting that it is crucial in preventing associated complications of the health condition and helps to save lives.

They noted that late detection of kidney issues often results in the progression of kidney disease to chronic kidney disease, urging Nigerians to embrace regular health checks to enable them to detect health issues early. 

The experts maintained that improving awareness of the impact, prevention, and early detection of chronic kidney problems will help curb the disease across the country. 

The experts spoke at an event organised to mark the 2023 World Kidney Day celebration held at Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos.

The event was organised in collaboration with Nephrology units in Lagos State hospitals. 

The celebration with the theme: “Kidney Health for all” had a long list of activities which include an awareness rally and free kidney, diabetes, and hypertension screening for patients. 

The Medical Director of Gbagada General hospital, Dr. Segun Babafemi, said chronic kidney disease is a global health problem with an increasing incidence rate, poor outcomes, and high treatment and management costs. 

He explained that the disease is a non-communicable condition that is categorised into five stages of severity which often remains undetected in its earlier stages. 

He revealed that patients with diabetes, hypertension, and inflammation are at higher risk of kidney problems.

Babafemi, however, said regular checkups and early detection will help proffer cure and management to the disease. 

He said, “Mainly what we do here is to create awareness as regards the existence of kidney diseases, what gives rise to kidney diseases, and how we can prevent such kidney diseases.

“Once somebody is hypertensive, treat it; if it is diabetes, treat it; treat all infections and you’ll find that you’re on your way to preventing chronic diseases which have so much effect. 

“When a person is diabetic and you discover the kidney disease early, it is curable. But most of the time, by the time you get it, it is already in the advanced stage. 

“If it has reached the advanced stage, there are two modes of treatment; it is either you go for dialysis or kidney transplant.”

A Nephrologist and a kidney specialist at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Jacob Awobusuyi, said that kidney disease is increasing at an annual growth rate of eight per cent. 

He lamented that the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in developing countries is higher than in the developed world. 

Prof. Awobusuyi urged the government to provide more kidney centres with equipped facilities and manpower. 

He added, “Government has a lot of roles to play, they need to support kidney care in the country by providing more centres where kidney care could be access; by ensuring that the existing ones are well equipped and manpower training is done sufficiently. 

“So, the costly nature of many of the treatments that we give, like dialysis for instance. All over the world, the government pays for the treatment. 

“So, if the government can come in, strengthen the insurance and ensure adequate payment for people who have kidney disease, they don’t have to take money out of their pockets because of reliable insurance.” 

Speaking on the symptoms, the nephrologist said, “One of the common symptoms is when people urinate and that urine is foamy, that’s an early sign of kidney disease. 

“You discover that the amount of urine you are releasing a day has reduced considerably, that’s also a sign. 

“And when you wake up, you see that your eyes are swollen and by the end of the day, the swollen don’t go down. The blood pressure can be high, and as the severity progresses, you may not be able to focus and convulsions do occur and the patient can go into a comma. 

“But don’t wait until those serious complications occur because detecting kidney disease and treating it.”


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