Kid­ney fail­ure: Dial­y­sis pa­tients cry for help in Ji­gawa

Daily Trust - - HEALTH - From Aliyu M. Ha­m­agam, Dutse

Al­haji Us­man Sule, fa­ther of 16, has been bedrid­den for the past 15 months af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with kid­ney fail­ure. He said, the high cost of treat­ment for the dis­ease is caus­ing him un­told hard­ship as he has spent all his life sav­ings on hos­pi­tal bills.

Sule who hails from Ma­gatari Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Ji­gawa state said he started re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at Aminu Kano Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal (AKTH) be­fore be­ing trans­fered to Nas­sarawa Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, both in Kano.

He said due to the high cost of treat­ment, he has been mov­ing from one hos­pi­tal to the other in Kano in search of an af­ford­able hos­pi­tal, the same rea­son he said made him to trans­fer his treat­ment to Rashid Shokoni Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal in Dutse, the Ji­gawa state cap­i­tal.

"When I could no longer bear the high cost of dial­y­sis in Kano, I had to trans­fer my treat­ment to Dutse. Treat­ment here is not only less ex­pen­sive com­pared to Kano but also less stress­ful as one does not stay long on queue to un­dergo the treat­ment," he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, he spends N16, 000 to un­dergo only a ses­sion of dial­y­sis in AKTH whereas it costs him N12,000 in Nasarawa Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. But spends only N9, 000 at Rashid Shokoni Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal in Dutse, adding that while re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at Kano, he in­curred more trans­port ex­penses.

Ac­cord­ing to him, de­spite the agony he passes through when­ever the dial­y­sis which he does three times a week is de­layed, some­times he has to skip a ses­sion due to lack of money for the con­tin­u­ous treat­ment.

Sule, who is a busi­ness man, said his busi­ness has since col­lapsed as he has spent all his life sav­ings, adding that he has now re­sorted to dis­pos­ing his as­sets in or­der to keep pace with the fi­nan­cial de­mands of the treat­ment.

He com­mended the Ji­gawa State gov­ern­ment for sub­si­diz­ing the treat­ment but also ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment and well spir­ited in­di­vid­u­als to come to his aid by as­sist­ing in the pay­ment for his treat­ment, say­ing many pa­tients have died due to lack of money to ac­cess treate­ment.

Aisha Adamu, 28, is another pa­tient on ad­mis­sion at Rashid Shokoni Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal who also lost her fa­ther, and step mother to the same ail­ment last year.

She said: "Kid­ney fail­ure killed my fa­ther last year. He un­der­went the first dial­y­sis and died when he was about to go for the sec­ond ses­sion. One of my fa­ther’s wives was also di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease and she died not long af­ter too."

Adamu hails from Hade­jia area of the state, a zone said to have been worse hit by the cases of kid­ney fail­ure.

Prior to when she was di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease, she vom­it­ted over 10 times a day, suf­fered from fever fre­quently, had chest pain and could hardly walk around as she got tired easily.

She was re­ferred to Dutse af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with the prob­lem at the Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Hade­jia and since then she has been un­der­go­ing dial­y­sis. She un­der­went three ses­sions in a week.

Adamu paid N12, 000 for the first ses­sion and N10,000 each per ses­sion for the sub­se­quent ses­sions. Get­ting money for the third ses­sion was not an easy task for Adamu and she was saved by do­na­tions from mem­bers of her ex­tended fam­ily.

"It was dif­fi­cult for me to go for the third ses­sion as all the money we came with had fin­ished. My brother had to go back home and sought as­sis­tance from our re­la­tions," she said.

She called on the gov­ern­ment to make the treat­ment free for the pa­tients or at least fur­ther sub­si­dize it, say­ing many are dy­ing be­cause they can­not af­ford the ex­penses in­volved.

How­ever, dis­turbed by the high preva­lence rate of kid­ney fail­ure in Ji­gawa State, Gover­nor Mo­hammed Badaru Abubakar re­cently an­nounced the de­ter­mi­na­tion of his ad­min­is­tra­tion to check the fur­ther spread of the dis­ease by go­ing into part­ner­ship with Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity (ABU), Zaria, to en­gage the ser­vices of ex­perts in or­der to find out the rea­son for the high preva­lence rate of kid­ney fail­ure in the state with a par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to Hade­jia zone.

On the pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Badaru said ex­perts re­vealed that there are traces of agro­chem­i­cals sub­stances that found their way into the drink­ing wa­ter sources and might have caused the in­crease in kid­ney fail­ure around Hade­jia area.

"We are fund­ing them now and we will con­tinue to sup­port them on the re­search work un­til we are able to find what the cause is. We have since started ad­vis­ing farm­ers to stop us­ing these chem­i­cals that we be­lieve might af­fect hu­mans," he noted.

The Rashid Shokoni Spe­cial­ist Hos­pi­tal, Dutse is the only health fa­cil­ity that pro­vides dial­y­sis ser­vices in the state though, re­cently, another cen­ter was opened in Hade­jia.

The hos­pi­tal has been ren­der­ing such ser­vice to pa­tients suf­fer­ing from kid­ney re­lated dis­eases and in par­tic­u­lar, to those with chronic kid­ney cases.

Chief Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor of the hos­pi­tal, Dr. Sal­isu B. Mu'azu, said the high preva­lence rate of kid­ney fail­ure and other re­lated dis­eases in the state may be true but added that as a sci­en­tist, he does not have facts and fig­ures to say whether or not the kid­ney re­lated dis­eases in the state are on the in­crease or not.

He said kid­ney re­lated dis­eases how­ever are on the rise world­wide in­clud­ing Nige­ria, adding that this was due to rise in pri­mary con­di­tions lead­ing to kid­ney fail­ure and they in­clude high preva­lence rate of high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes mel­li­tus among oth­ers.

The ob­served in­crease of kid­ney dis­eases in the state, he said was due to im­proved di­ag­no­sis and ac­cess to med­i­ca­tion by the peo­ple in the state, adding that un­like in the past, when peo­ple did not know where to go for di­ag­no­sis.

He said: "When we started the kid­ney cen­ter in Dutse, about four years ago, the cen­ter was not only serv­ing the state but most of the neigh­bour­ing states. How­ever, along the way, we no­ticed that more peo­ple com­ing from the state to ac­cess treat­ment are from Hade­jia axis com­pared to other parts of the state.

"But as a sci­en­tist, un­less there is a re­search or in­ves­ti­ga­tion that fol­lows nor­mal sci­en­tific pro­ce­dures which in­volve data col­lec­tion and anal­y­sis, we can­not de­clare that there is high preva­lence cases of kid­ney dis­eases from Hade­jia zone.I know there are bod­ies and in­sti­tu­tions that in­di­cated in­ter­est that they wanted to go for this re­search work. What we have is some­thing that is very sub­jec­tive, it is not proven be­cause there is no facts and fig­ures.”

He said the treat­ment for kid­ney fail­ure is very ex­pen­sive and not all can af­ford it and those on dial­y­sis from Hade­jia zone are about 30 per­cent.

“Within the last four years, we have reg­is­tered over 200 pa­tients and out of this, about half have died. It is a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, dial­y­sis is pal­lia­tive and what is de­fin­i­tive is for the pa­tient to go for trans­plant,” the CMD said.

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