“We lose a lot of water and a lot of salt and we need to keep rehydrated to ensure that our kidneys function optimally.’’
The Chief Consultant Physician, Nephrologists Unit, National Hospital, Abuja, Emmanuel Anteyi, on Thursday advised Nigerians to drink a lot of water to prevent kidney diseases.
Mr. Anteyi gave this advice as part of efforts to commemorate the 2014 World Kidney Day on Thursday in Abuja.
The World Kidney Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in March, to create awareness on the importance of kidneys and reduce the frequency and impact of kidney diseases.
“If you look at the functions of the kidney, one of the things it does is to regulate both body water and body salt and maintain the blood pressure.
“Most of the drugs and toxins, everything we take, kidneys largely eliminates them though urine and if there is not enough water in your body you are not likely to produce enough urine.
“At least drink water as much as you can, especially in our environment that the weather is very hot; we lose a lot of water and a lot of salt and we need to keep rehydrated to ensure that our kidneys function optimally.’’
Mr. Anteyi said that this year’s theme is “Chronic Kidney Diseases and Ageing’’, noting that the kidneys got older in the older people grew.
He explained that causes of kidney diseases become more evident in old age.
The doctor said that some common causes of chronic kidney disease included high blood pressure, diabetics, infections, un-prescribed or traditional medications and diseases in the urinary tract.
Mr. Anteyi said that it was important to create awareness on kidney diseases and preventive programmes, especially at the community level.
“Preventive programmes are better done at the community level and if the preventive programme is well established, you will be able to reduce the burden of clinical management of that disease, especially at the hospital level.
“The cost of treatment when you eventually have this disease and it has reached the advanced form, is so enormous; very few people can afford the management of these advanced forms of chronic kidney disease,” he said.
The nephrologist advised his audience to look after their kidneys.
“Live healthy, avoid some of the factors that can lead to kidney diseases like hypertension diabetics, overweight and stop taking medication that is not prescribed by the appropriate people.
“Treat infections as quickly as possible, go for regular check-up and drink lots of water.
“If you do that, even as you age, your kidney will be able to sustain you till when you die from other natural causes.’’
On the cost of treatment, the nephrologists said that the cost of dialysis varied depending on the hospital.
“The average cost is between N15,000 and N25,000 per session, excluding drugs and other tests.
“Going by the minimum wage, we can see that the average Nigerian can only afford one session of dialysis.’’
He explained that the cost of kidney transplant in Nigeria was not less than N3 million, adding that it was cheaper in Nigeria than abroad.