Bura Muhammad Alhaji Dandala is a 67-year-old kidney patient in Gashua, whose condition started with a stomach ache but he was later diagnosed with kidney disease.
Dandala was initially ignorant of the cause of his stomach upset, until he was diagnosed of having kidney disease.
According to him:”When the pain persisted, I rushed to a friend who linked me up with an old friend, a medical doctor in Bauchi. After describing my urine colour, smell and the pain, he concluded that it was kidney related ailment. He recommended some tests for me and his suspicion was confirmed thereafter”.
Although he was privileged to enjoy early diagnosis, but thousands of other Nigerians don’t have such opportunity, due to their financial incapability or wrong diagnosis by medical personnel.
Dandala who was grateful to God for having such a faithful friend to assist him at such a troublous time, however expressed his disappointment in his state healthcare system, for its inability to diagnose his condition timely.
“It’s sad that my problem could not be detected in Gashua, Bauchi State, where we have serious cases of kidney failure. Initially, I was placed on appendix drugs here in Gashua and my condition continues to deteriorate. Thank God, I have a friend that stood by me to live up till this time,” he said.
This is just the story of one, out of over 25 million Nigerians groaning with the pain of kidney diseases. Thus, poised to ameliorate the condition of several millions of kidney diseases patients across the globe, the World Kidney Day (WKD) was established in 2006 as a joint initiative between the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN).
With the main objective of raising awareness about kidney diseases, and highlighting diabetes and high blood pressure as key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the WKD is commemorated every 14 March for this purpose.
Having the theme for the 2019 World Kidney Day as “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere”, it is disheartening to know that over 25 million Nigerians are still suffering from the diseases, as revealed by the Nigerian Association of Nephrology (NAN).
Similar to the story of Dandala who was oblivious of his condition, until tests were conducted, reports have shown that majority of sufferers are of the working-age population, with the condition resulting in loss of jobs and poverty.
Pharmanewsonline also garnered from previous information from NAN, that the condition not only gulps huge sums of money for treatment, but it also leaves the sufferers constantly tired, in pain and at risk of death.
With diabetes are hypertension identified as major culprits in the development of the disease, experts have urged Nigerians to always embark on regular screening to be sure of their numbers.
For the commemoration of this year’s event, the official statement released by the initiators of the event, disclosed that the Day will be observed across the globe with different health activities from public screenings in Argentina to Zumba marathons in Malaysia, there will also be awareness creation about preventive behaviors, awareness about risk factors, and awareness about how to live with a kidney disease. “We do these because we want kidney health for all”.
Other objectives of the Day include: “To encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD; To encourage preventive behaviours; To educate all medical professionals about their key roles in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.
“Stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening. Encourage Transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure, and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative”, it stated.