The Nigerian Association of Nephrology, NAN, has revealed that 20 million Nigerians have kidney disease.
This was made public by the President of the association, Prof. Ifeoma Ulasi at a news conference heralding the association’s 32nd Annual General Meeting, AGM, and Scientific Conference, in Ibadan.
According to her, the theme of the AGM, ‘Kidney and Demographics,’ is to sensitise the public on primary prevention, owing to the high cost of treating the disease.
She noted that there were multiple factors causing kidney diseases, apart from genetics, adding that the nation’s health insurance needed to be reviewed to cater for people with the disease.
“The prevalence of kidney disease is about eight to 12 percent of the Nigerian population; it could be more, but as you may well know, many of our people don’t report to the hospital on time.
“They would have tried one or two alternative practices like native doctors or turned to spiritual houses to seek attention; we don’t get to see them early, but we believe it is about eight to 12 percent.
“So, if you work it out, 10 percent will be about 20 million Nigerians having kidney diseases.
“There are so many practices apart from us being genetically predisposed to kidney diseases.
“There are some practices that are not very good for our kidney health; oftentimes, some women use some medicated soaps that contain mercury; this is not good for the kidney,” she said.
The president explained that early detection and government support in terms of policy for renal care was needed to reduce its prevalence.