To mark the World Kidney Day (WKD), a non-governmental organisation, Omotayo Kidney Care Foundation, on Saturday held free kidney screening for Nigerians in Abuja.
The WKD is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidney and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
The day is celebrated across the globe on every second Thursday of March.
The founder of the NGO, Omotayo Akinrinde, who is a registered nurse and works with the Garki Hospital in Abuja, said the aim of the foundation is to create awareness on kidney diseases and the preventive measures.
“We aim at reducing the number of people living with high chronic disease,” Ms Akinrinde said.
“The foundation started in November 2017 and since then, we have had about seven medical outreaches,” she said.
“Initially, I started on Facebook as ‘Your kidney and your health’ where we tell people the ways to care for their kidneys,” she said.
Ms Akinrinde said the foundation undertook the free kidney check to reduce the number of people living with the chronic disease and to commemorate the WKD.
“The cost of treatment for chronic kidney disease is high. It imposes a big burden on individuals and the government,” she said.
Ms Akinrinde said the leading causes of the disease are diabetes and hypertension.
“Most people are not aware of this, they have symptoms of headache and they take paracetamol which cures the headache but not the main illness,” she said.
Speaking at the event,a medical doctor ,Yomi Ekperinpa, advised people to take water regularly and avoid intake of alcohol.
Mr Ekperinpa, who works with Police College Comprehensive Hospital, said avoiding foods low in potassium and sodium is also a way of caring for the kidney.
“The kidney excretes waste, urine, toxic products and regulates blood pressure,” he said.
A beneficiary, Abdulkaheem Abdulsalami, thanked Ms Akinrinde for the initiative and called on international and local agencies to assist in moving the foundation forward.
Another beneficiary, Sidi Ali, urged people to learn how to appreciate good work which is being offered to them free.
“I went to a hospital and was charged N20,000 for this particular test and I had to do it,” he said.