Kidney transplants in Africa are becoming more common. Kidney disease is on the increase in Nigeria due to changing lifestyles.
Prevention not surgery:
There is a chronic shortage of trained health workers and the equipment able to deal with the disease.
People cannot afford the dialysis treatment and only a fortunate few receive kidney transplants. The challenge therefore is to minimize the need for surgery and focus on prevention.
Much of Africa is improving fast. Economies are growing and progress has been made tackling many diseases.
But as the cities grow and development increases, some diseases, usually associated with rich countries, are coming to the fore. A private hospital located in the centre of Lagos – Nigeria’s biggest city – is one of the few in Africa equipped to cope with kidney disease.
In this film we focus on Kingsley Irhoghama who has kidney disease. Four times a week he has to go to the hospital for dialysis. But he has a donor in place and his transplant operation is imminent.
Dr Ebun Bamgboye, a kidney expert who has been at the hospital for 17 years, has seen the problem grow. A fortunate few get surgery. The vast majority don’t receive any treatment.
Lack of surgeons & equipment:
There are only a handful of transplant surgeons in west Africa. There is a chronic shortage of facilities to cope with the growing numbers.
The facilities that do exist are too expensive for all but a few. And even for those who do make it here for dialysis, many cannot afford the continued cost of treatment.
Kingsley is one of the lucky ones. Throughout Nigeria, there are thousands like him who will never be treated.
Regular visits to peoples’ homes, to check blood pressure and take urine samples, would catch many kidney problems at an early stage, when they could be treated easily.
But Kingsley is lucky and hopefully with survive.