PRELUDE TO KICK OFF KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION AT FMC, UMUAHIA, TOUR OF FACILITIES AND LECTURE BY VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF UROLOGY/ RENAL TRANSPLANT SURGEON, OBI EKWENNA MD 15/09/2017.
Geared towards providing a sustainable health solution to patients suffering from end stage kidney ailment , the Federal Medical Centre has embark on series of medical activities and steps towards kidney transplantation.
These events which among others include the visit of the Renal transplant Surgeon ,Obi Ekwenna MD from the College of Medicine, University of Toledo,Ohio,United State of America, to tour the facility, and also had him deliver a lecture titled “Living Donation in Renal Transplantation: Brief Overview”.. with emphasis on who can donate, the age and mental health requirements ,and care of the donor who the transplant world consider as life savers.
The visiting assistant Professor of Urology, Obi Ekwenna MD, during a brief meeting with the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia Transplantation Team, expressed optimism that the kidney transplantation program would be a sustainable success.
Issues that border on, identifying the kidney recipients, legal obligations, and post surgery patient care were discussed. in his words:
“I am pleased to be here. It has been a long process to see how we can help patients suffering from kidney diseases, in this part of the country,
I thank the Medical Director, Dr.Chuku for his perseverance and leadership ,am impressed with the team and that suggest commitment because it takes a team to do a successful transplant,
It is encouraging to note that this is a well managed community and is a privilege for me to be here,
I am happy that that this opportunity is here for us to do this ,we must do this well and it must work and everyone must be involved, we must give our best, let us make it work”.
The Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia’s decision to take up this burden to commence kidney transplant this year is aimed to reduce medical tourism abroad by rendering the procedure here in Umuahia, Abia State, SouthEast region.
BURDEN OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE(CKD)/END-STAGE RENAL DISEASE (ESRD)
The prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease among residents in Umuahia (a South-Eastern Nigerian community in Abia State), has been shown to be 7.3% (Okwuonu, 2015); while ESRD (dialysis-dependent) has been shown to account for 8% of all admissions in South-eastern Nigerian hospitals (Ulasi, et al., of 2013). Among children, the incidence of ESRD has been estimated at 4-6 per million persons (Asinobi, 2014)
Furthermore, from experiences in FMC Umuahia, dialysis centre, an average of 4 new patients per week are added to the list of dialysis-dependent kidney disease cases.
In Nigeria today, the cost of dialysis amounts to 75,000 Naira per week. This cost excludes the occasional blood transfusions, medicines,etc. Very few people can afford this cost. Thus a lot of these patients die before the end of the first year of commencing dialysis.
Although it is known that performance of renal transplantation on ESRD patients is cheaper than maintaining such patients on renal dialysis for life (Rosselli, 2015), transplant facilities are scarce. Of the 10 renal transplant units in Nigeria, none is located in the South-Eastern Nigeria (Bamgboye, 2015).
In his passionate appeal, the Medical Director,Dr Abali Chuku, has called on well meaning individuals to extend the lives of those with end stage kidney failure, in his words:
“….well meaning individuals, should ‘adopt’ a few dialysis sessions or part of their pre and post transplant care, to add days and years to the lives of these patients…”
Seventy five thousand Naira is required on a weekly basis to keep a kidney failure patient on dialysis alive and 3 million Naira a year on post transplant medications …
He emphasized that the 5 year survival rate of patients post transplant is better than that of patients on dialysis. The 5 year survival rate of patients on dialysis sadly equates even worse than many cancers”.
Meanwhile, some patients are already on the waiting list.