- Subsidises cost of renal treatment, including rugs, equipment
Okon Bassey in Uyo
Worried by the growing rate of kidney problems, the Akwa Ibom State Government has provided drug to support the treatment of patients with renal diseases in the state.
A consultant and kidney specialist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Dr. Udeme Ekrikpo dropped the hint at a Workshop organized by the Correspondent Chapel of the NUJ, Akwa Ibom State saying it was efforts of the state government to reduce the increasing rate of kidney failure in the state.
Dr. Ekrikpo who spoke on the topic, “the impact of oil exploration activities in the ecosystem by oil and gas firms in the Niger Delta” said the state government acquired dialysis equipment and drugs for those in need of specialised treatment of renal diseases.
Expressing glad that the state government had step forward to supplement the cost of kidney disease treatment in the state he revealed that no fewer than one out of every three adults in the state living in crude oil producing communities suffers from high blood pressure being also a source to renal problem.
As a consultant in the Kidney unit of the UUTH, he said he is worried by the number of patients coming for treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis at the teaching hospital.
He said his feelings and passionate appeal caused the state Governor to intervene by providing the assistance.
According to him, the number of patients coming for dialysis was alarming and the cost is prohibitive, it could cost up to N500, 000 for four sessions of dialysis and not many people can afford it.
He attributed the increase in the cases of kidney failure to many environmental factors as well as non-communicable ailments including hypertension.
Ekrikpo suggested universal health coverage to expand access to healthcare services in the country adding that other countries with less endowment have moved to provide their citizens with subsidised treatment.
“If we have universal coverage scheme and with as little of N1 billion, it would be easy to provide anti-hypertensive drugs for those requiring treatment, this will help to bring down the incidence of kidney failure in the country,’’ he said.
He said there is no rocket science,” this is something that can be done even it starts with a pilot scheme” noting that a university health coverage would ameliorate the high cost of treatment for kidney disease and reduce cases of kidney failures. Government, he said could provide the anti-hypertensive drugs for those in need with a proper health scheme and planning.