UPTH Marks World Kidney Day 

The 2022 Edition of World Kidney Day at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was marked with enriching activities  for the Hospital community and the public. As observed annually, the sensitization and awareness campaign was spear-headed by the Haemodialysis unit in the Department of Internal Medicine with emphasis on “Bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care” which is the theme for this year.

According to statistical report Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is common and harmful and 1 out of 10 adult people worldwide suffer from it. CKD if left untreated it can be deadly. However, early detection allows for disease care and management to prevent morbidity and mortality. kidney disease related mortality continues to increase yearly and is projected to be the 5th leading cause of death by 2040. (worldkidneyday.org

UPTH nephrologists in collaboration with her sponsors, the Nigerian Association of Nephrology used the  occasion to perform screening for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) for attendees to aid in their study of its prevalence in our society. 

The Unit also used this medium to educate the public about Peritoneal Dialysis. Peritoneal Dialysis is a way to remove waste products from your blood when your kidneys can’t adequately do the job any longer. This procedure filters the blood in a different way than the more common blood-filtering procedure called haemodialysis. 

Dr Prelador Fakrogha a physician in the renal unit  spoke about this alternative to Haemodialysis. The Peritoneal Dialysis method  is available in the Haemodialysis Unit of the Hospital. He encouraged patients after they have been taught how to perform the routine to continue at home as the process is simple and can be done without assistance or electrical power  

The Head of Unit  Haemodialysis Dr. Manda David-West spoke about care for the Kidney and entertained several questions from patients and staff who came for the event. She enlightened the public about several misconceptions and practices that are harmful to the kidney. 

A consultant physician and neurologist, Pedro Emem-Chioma said Physicians have identified herbal concoctions, hypertension and indiscriminate use of painkillers without prescription as the foremost causes of chronic kidney diseases in Nigeria.

The doctors, while noting that cases of chronic kidney diseases were on the rise, advised members of the public to lead healthy lifestyles in order to keep their kidneys healthy. 

Several reputable professionals in the field spoke about kidney care and advised against taking concoctions. Dr. Emem-Chioma said, “Herbal medications, concoctions, and even drugs like painkillers, which are commonly used in this environment without prescriptions needs to be avoided. “

“In developed countries, diabetes is known to be a number one cause of chronic kidney disease. But in our environment, diabetes comes third after hypertension and glomerulonephritis, and are the three major causes of chronic kidney disease.

Prof. Ifeoma Anochie who is a consultant paediatrician Nephrologist at the UPTH, and Dr Uchenwa Tochi (paediatric nephrologist) noted that herbal concoctions and other hard substances when taken by pregnant women can damage the kidneys of their unborn children.

Anochie advised women of productive age, as well as pregnant women to steer clear of traditional birth centres, in order to safeguard the kidneys of the infants. 

She said, “Kidney problems start even in the womb and that is why we want to tell women to be careful what they take during pregnancy because it can affect the development of their baby’s kidney. 

“Pregnant women should avoid herbal medications, because you don’t know the things in them, they are a combination of many things, some would say they are nephrotoxic, in order words, they can affect the kidney. 

Some partners and contributors to the success of the day include; Rekliff Kidney Support Foundation, International Society of Nephrology, Micronova Pharmaceutical, Health Line Limited, Servier and others.

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