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World kidney day: Abia post transplant persons call for government support as price of drugs skyrockets



Abia State Post Transplant Persons Association of Nigeria (ASPTPAN), an association of people who had undergone kidney transplant, has passionately appealed to Government and corporate organizations to help in making life-saving medications available and affordable to its members.
The appeal according to the body, has become necessary following the inability of majority of its members to afford their medications as a result of the biting economic hardship and the high foreign exchange rate.

Speaking during an interview on Family Love FM Radio Station Umuahia, President of the Association, Professor Remy O. Mejeha; and Secretary, Dr Clement Ifenkoronye, in their remarks to commemorate this year’s World Kidney Day, said that unless there were quick intervention, post kidney transplant persons in the state might not survive for too long.

They appealed to Gov. Alex Otti, to come to their rescue as the high exchange rate has put them on the death row as their maintenance drugs have become unaffordable.

Professor Mejeha who gave the theme of this year’s celebration as:”Kidney Health For All” with the sub-theme:”Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice”, bemoaned the plight of Nigerians depending on life-saving medications in the face of the worsening economic situation.
Giving some tips on how to maintain kidney health, he said:”Drink adequate amount of water at least three litres per day.”

He further said:”Urinate promptly when the urge arises. Avoid postponing urinating for extended periods
“Avoid over the counter medications. See a licensed physician for prescriptions as many medications are injurious to the kidneys when used indiscriminately. Avoid indiscriminate consumption of herbal concoctions.

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“Ensure regular check ups with your physician ensuring that your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure are optimal.
“Hypertensive patients and diabetics should ensure that they take their medications as prescribed and their blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure are within normal values.

“Eat a balanced diet with adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables. Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week – at least four times a week.

In his remark, ASPTPAN Secretary, Dr Ifenkoronye, urged Government to consider the plights of post transplant persons, and take urgent action to prevent their early graves.

“A number of persons have had to undergo Kidney transplant- the definitive treatment for End Stage Renal Disease, a condition where the kidneys fail to function effectively.
“These people need lifelong medications to ensure proper functioning of the kidneys as well as prevent the body from rejecting these transplanted kidneys and indeed, any transplanted organ.

“These medications are very expensive to procure putting the kidneys at risk. With the present exponential increase in the dollar as against the naira, the costs are astronomical indeed.

“Many post transplant persons are battling Kidney rejection and death as a result of inability to procure medications.”
Dr Ifenkoronye urged members of the public to always go for kidney screening to ensure their kidneys are not at risk, and for early detection of any kidney-related ailments for proper management.

He noted that kidneys are vital organs that should not be toyed with.
“Kidneys are vital to life. They perform essential services in mammals which include; excretion of foreign substances/waste products, regulation of the pH and water, production of blood, hormonal substances etc.
“They are indeed vital to life and it is important that they be kept healthy for optimal performance.

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Also speaking, the Financial Secretary of ASPTPAN Uche Agwamba and the Treasurer Mrs. Chima Nkiru lamented the extreme dollarization of their medication, stressing that the prices of these medications increase at high velocity as a result of current inflationary trend sometimes at above 300 percent.

They called on well spirited individuals with the wherewithal to also assist with their resources and connections to keep Kidney Transplant Persons alive.

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