Dr Michael Adelaja, a Nephrologist with Garki Hospital in Abuja, has called on the Federal Government to include kidney treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to reduce the high cost of treatment for patients.
Adelaja made the appeal during a month-long awareness and walk campaign against kidney organised by hospital.
Adelaja, who is also the Head of Dialysis Unit of the Hospital, said the Government should subsidise renal replacement therapy by including it into the scheme.
“In this part of the world, most access to healthcare services is expensive and majority of patients are poor. We can only hope and pray that government will include into NHIS some form of renal replacement therapy for kidney disease treatment. If such a thing can actually be subsidised by government, I think a lot of people will access treatment for kidney disease,” he said.
He noted that kidney treatment across the globe was expensive, adding that it is not peculiar to Nigeria’s health system.
Adelaja however enjoined Nigerians to pay attention to the preventive measures which, he said, were cheaper than treatment.
“There are preventive measures; there are certain things we can do to prevent kidney disease from occurring or retard the progression of the disease if the patient is detected early,” he said.
The expert lamented that most patients with kidney diseases were not aware of their renal status early enough to properly manage it.
“And most of the times, their renal status is detected late, that is not usually good when you look at the outcome,” he said.
Adelaja therefore enjoined Nigerians to visit hospitals for medical check-up when they were sick instead of seeking alternative treatment elsewhere.
Garki Hospital in the Federat Capital Territory, Abuja is one of the pioneer hospitals that is currently championing the course of kidney transplant and open heart surgery in Nigeria.