‘MTNF’s intervention boosts renal dialysis in Nigeria’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘MTNF’s intervention boosts renal dialysis in Nigeria’

Posted: Apr 4, 2015 at 2:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Yinka Shokunbi

Until recently, many Nigerians who suffer kidney failure couldn’t live for long because of difficulty in kidney transplant and more importantly is the inadequate government dialysis facilities which could help in regular cleaning up of the body wastes; function hitherto carried out by the kidney.



The involvement of the MTN Foundation in partnership with Adcem Pharmaceuticals Limited in providing the needed dialysis machines to members of the public has no doubt helped give some relief to many patients who now have access to regular dialysis.

Speaking on the success of the MTNF’s kidney support project, Managing Director, Adcem Pharmaceuticals Limited, Adeyemi Adewole described the intervention as one of the best things to happen to healthcare delivery in the country.

Adeyemi who is a trained pharmacist from ahmadu Bello University, Zaria noted, that the organisation in 1992 chose to get involved in providing sevices for patients with kidney diseases because it found out that there was a shortfall in service provision.

According to him, “In 1992, whilst researching on dialysis and kidney disease I discovered that services were inadequate and so we decided to partner with Fresenius AG Germany which has both pharmaceutical and medical equipment divisions, mostly specializing in kidney diseases”, said Adeyemi.

He noted, “Through partnerships with corporate organizations, we have been able to execute a five-year turn-key and management service project with MTN Foundation, in which dialysis centres were established and managed in six geo-political zones in the country and the Heineken Africa Foundation HIV project, where a dedicated dialysis centre was established to cater for patients living with HIV and Hepatitis infections. This centre is situated at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital”.

Although entrepreneurially, Adeyemi could be described as resilient, tenacious and quite passionate he however observes that there are numerous challenges to contend with in ensuring dialysis services are optimal in the country.

“The first issue we have to contend with is lack of infrastructure (both physical and non-physical). We basically provide our businesses with the basic utilities needed to function. With non-physical infrastructure, I am referring to access to financing or lines of credit; the human resources needed to get the job done efficiently and effectively”.

He attributed the major causes of kidney disease in the country to rise in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which are described as silent killers because they typically do not warn until they have progressed.

“Therefore, a lot of Nigerians suffer from these non-communicable diseases without being aware, especially because we do not have a regular check-up culture. These diseases have become more common due to lifestyle choices, whereby we eat less of fresh organic food and physical activity is on the decline. Other reasons could be abuse of pain killers and other non-conventional medication usually described as traditional medicine, which could be harmful to the kidney. The proliferation of skin bleaching/lightening cream use could also be responsible”, said Adeyemi.

On the theme of this year’s World Kidney Day,  ‘Kidney Health for All’ Adeyemi suggested the sensitisation and education of individuals with apparently healthy kidneys, in order to place them on the right track and to avoid future illnesses, continuous professional development for medical personnel specializing in Nephrology, supporting the provision and establishment of renal care centres, subsidized/ free dialysis sessions (through reimbursement programmes) to enable people afford them as well as by reaching out to rural areas where people will not have access to the established centres and subsidized sessions.

Adeyemi explained that most of the Dialysis machines it supplied MTNFoundation project were initially installed by expatriates but now locally done by its technical staff.

Adeyemi commended MTNF’s support in ensuring that renal failure is tackled in a sustainable manner saying, more individuals now have access to treatment through the provision of equipment and consumables.

“The General Hospital, Alimosho, is the centre with the highest traffic as the centre as patients no longer need to travel so far for a service they are required to access three times a week. They are also used as screening points and providing awareness”, he added.

Adeyemi implored other organisations to imbibe the spirit of corporate social responsibility and help support more patients with kidney diseases through provision of more dialysis centres.

“The joy on the face of any patient after undergoing a successful session of dialysis in any of the centres is usually contagious, because this has been tremendously subsidised by MTNF”, Adeyemi averred.