Bleach­ing cream, slim­ming tea can cause kid­ney dis­ease —Ex­pert

The Punch - - HEALTH -

Dr Ogochukwu Ogoye is a nephrol­o­gist and Pres­i­dent of Saint Li­nus Re­nal Care Ini­tia­tive, a cen­tre work­ing with the Delta State Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal. In this in­ter­view with Ogoye says more Nige­ri­ans are hav­ing chronic kid­ney dis­ease be­cause of lack of funds


bod­ies that give grants but what about the pub­lic? At St Li­nus, we are in­tro­duc­ing mem­ber­ship cards for mem­bers who are com­mit­ted with as little as N1,000 on a monthly ba­sis to as high as any amount. What we are say­ing is that all of us can ac­tu­ally be fund providers for th­ese pa­tients. CKD has been with us for years; it had been with us even be­fore I was born and we are still here cry­ing about it af­ter all th­ese years.

The ma­chine is avail­able in ur­ban ar­eas but not in the ru­ral ar­eas. In the ru­ral ar­eas, early di­ag­no­sis is the prob­lem be­cause the symp­toms may ap­pear like malaria in hos­pi­tals that are not equipped to di­ag­nose it. Some are ac­tu­ally treated as malaria and ty­phoid fever un­til they re­alise there is no im­prove­ment and re­fer the pa­tient to an­other hos­pi­tal. By the time the pa­tients get to us at the teach­ing hos­pi­tal, the pa­tients are al­ready at the fifth phase of treat­ment and will need dial­y­sis.

Peo­ple say drink enough wa­ter, yes, you need to stay hy­drated but not to take ex­ces­sive wa­ter. We are in a hot cli­mate so you have to stay hy­drated. Eat the right food and stay away from ad­di­tives. Ad­di­tives are com­mon in can foods. They have lots of salt be­cause salt is what is used to pre­serve can foods and you don’t want too much salt be­cause salt means blood pres­sure and blood pres­sure can lead to kid­ney fail­ure. Try to pre­vent di­a­betes.

Some peo­ple will say, ‘Oh, when I have a headache, I know that my blood pres­sure is high.’ Some­times your blood pres­sure would have hit the roof and you wouldn’t know. Kid­ney fail­ure has no early symp­toms un­til when it gets to stage four or five and you be­gin to have a feel­ing of nau­sea, which is the com­mon one. You can wake up in the morn­ing and feel like throw­ing up. But what of­ten brings pa­tients to us is when they no­tice that some parts of their body are swollen.

You could wake up in the morn­ing and no­tice that your face, ab­domen and legs are swollen. You may no­tice that you are not pass­ing out urine like you used to. They are signs that the fil­ter has failed. But ear­lier than that, a pa­tient could go to bed at night and wake up three to four times to uri­nate; that’s an early sign of chronic re­nal fail­ure. Other signs are foam­ing urine; that tells you that there is pro­tein in the urine. An­other one is blood in the urine. Of course you should run to the doc­tor when you see that and it can get re­ally bad.

We’ve had pa­tients who are ad­mit­ted in psy­chi­atric wards or thought to be men­tally ill but when they are tested, you will find out that it’s CKD. It can make a pa­tient to have con­vul­sion or even go into a coma. Those are very se­ri­ous signs of re­nal fail­ures. It can also make a pa­tient vomit blood or even have blood in stool. There could also be dif­fi­culty in breath­ing; some cough out blood too.

Gen­er­ally, it is said that about 10 per cent of Nige­ri­ans have CKD. Look­ing at a typ­i­cal hos­pi­tal set­ting where I work, on a daily ba­sis, we see a min­i­mum of two fresh in­di­gent pa­tients with CKD. At least on a daily ba­sis, we ad­mit two CKD pa­tients re­quir­ing ei­ther dial­y­sis or kid­ney trans­plant. If I have ten pa­tients with CKD, only about two would be able to af­ford to be­gin dial­y­sis. And out of those two, maybe only one of them can con­tinue to do dial­y­sis af­ter three months. So it tells you that only one out of ten pa­tients can con­tinue dial­y­sis af­ter three months, so we have a big prob­lem.

The ma­jor­ity of those with CKD die, not be­cause there is no treat­ment but be­cause of lack of fund. If you tell a pa­tient they need N30,000 for dial­y­sis treat­ment and will re­quire three in a week; that is N90,000 weekly for life. It’s like telling them to go home and die. They of­ten say dis­charge me. They go home and we don’t know what hap­pens to them. They go for herbal medicine as an al­ter­na­tive; they will go for any­thing they think will cure them. An­other com­mon thing peo­ple do is to visit prayer houses. They ask for doc­tor’s re­port and take it to the prayer house be­cause what you have of­fered them is not ac­ces­si­ble.

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