• Embarks on enlightenment campaign against kidney disease

From John Adams, Minna

As part of the activities to mark this year’s world kidney day, a Kidney Foundation; Nathaniel Kidney Foundation (NKF) in Niger State has off-set the medical bills of a number of kidney patients at the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB)) Specialised Hospital in Minna, the Niger State capital.

The kidney foundation which was established in 2022 by the family of late Nathaniel Matthew, a 24 year old kidney patient who lost the battle to the disease in 2021 has since it establishment reached out to over 50 kidney patients across the state in the area of offsetting their medical bills.

In addition to settling the medical bills of kidney patients, the foundation has used every world kidney day to embark on an enlightenment campaign and sensitisation on radio and television against the kidney disease on the courses and possible prevention of the disease.

The Chairman of the foundation, Mr Gideon Makeri, speaking to reporters in Minna shortly after a sensitisation walk and a visit to the patients at the IBB Specialised Hospital in Minna, said the foundation was established by the parents of late Nathaniel Matthew to remember the promising young man whose was cut short due to kidney infection.

This year’s world kidney day which he said coincided with birthday of the late Nathaniel, was used to reach out to the kidney patients through off-setting their medical bills, stressing that the foundation since it came on board two years ago, has supported kidney patients in the area of treatment both home and abroad.
According to him, “over 50 kidney patients have so far benefitted from the foundation. The beneficiaries include those that the foundation has supported in the area of treatment at home and in abroad and they are today healed of the diseases and are doing well.”

He disclosed that among the beneficiaries this year was a 300 level student of the Ibrahim Babangida University (IBBU) lapai who is currently placed on dialyses at the hospital, adding that seven kidney patients have their hospital bills settled by foundation as part of the activities to mark this year’s world kidney in the state.

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While appealing to individuals and organizations to come and partner with the foundation towards assisting kidney patients in the state, Mr Makeri decried the rising cost of the treatment of kidney disease in the country, adding that to undergo dialyses now, a patient need N30,000 and such patients might be required to undergo three times in a week.

“In advanced countries, the government pays for dialyses for the people but in Nigeria here the reverse is the case, and because of this, some people stayed back at home and resigned their faith to God. That is why we are appealing to individuals and organizations to come and partner with the foundation to try to save lives.”

The Chief Medical Director of IBB Specialised Hospital, Dr Bala Waziri, commended the family of the late Nathaniel for sustaining the foundation since it was launched two years ago, saying that the foundation has made a remarkable contributions to the lives of kidney patients in the state, and urged them to sustain the momentum.

According to him, a lot of people living with the disease in the state and the country in general are going through very difficult times, especially with high cost of the treatment of the disease, pointing out that “the price of drugs and dialyses equipment have gone up beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerian. A lot of patients no longer afford the cost of the treatment.

“Some patients undergo dialyses three times in a week with each costing N30,000. This is aside the normal kidney drugs which the price has equally gone up for more than 100 percent.”

He described the condition of kidney patients in the hospital as very pathetic and therefore appealed to individuals and organizations to come to the aids of those suffering from the disease.