Obasanjo Seeks National Assembly Bill to support people with kidney diseases

Obasanjo Seeks National Assembly Bill to support people with kidney diseases

by Joseph Anthony
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is urging the National Assembly to support individuals with kidney disease by proposing a bill dedicated to addressing this issue. He also appeals to relevant security authorities to enact necessary laws to combat emerging organ trafficking in Nigeria, particularly concerning cadaveric donations.

Speaking at the 36th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Nephrology in Abeokuta, with the theme “Optimizing Dialysis Therapy To Prolong Survival,” Obasanjo outlined four key areas to tackle the burden and challenges associated with managing kidney disease.

He emphasized the importance of simultaneous strategies such as advocacy, screening, enlightenment, and periodic collaborations to reduce the prevalence of the disease, especially among youths and children.

Obasanjo highlighted the exacerbating factors contributing to the burden of chronic kidney disease, including the high prevalence of risk factors and late presentations, which lead to increased morbidity and mortality. He noted that many African countries are experiencing rapid epidemiological transitions, facing the dual challenge of communicable and non-communicable diseases due to the adoption of Western lifestyles and rapid urbanization.

Citing reports, Obasanjo revealed that approximately 15% of adult Nigerians suffer from irreversible kidney failure, emphasizing that the prevalence of kidney failure in Africa surpasses that of any other region globally, with Africans being four times more likely to develop kidney problems than Caucasians or individuals of Mediterranean descent.

He identified various causes of kidney disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney infections, genetic factors, consumption of undefined herbal medications, and chronic analgesic abuse.

Obasanjo stressed the importance of prevention and a healthy lifestyle in treating kidney disease, while acknowledging the necessity of interventions such as dialysis or transplantation in severe cases. He highlighted the role of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in providing limited support for dialysis sessions but suggested increasing capacity substantially, as seen in South Africa and Sudan.

Additionally, the former President called for investments in the local production of dialysis consumables to enhance accessibility and affordability for patients.

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