Nephrologist says Early diagnosis, only way to reduce kidney treatment costs

A Consultant Nephrologist, Prof. Istifanus Bosan, has said that early detection through regular medical checks and screenings remained the way to reduce the costs of kidney disease treatment.

Bosan, a Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, decried the high cost of treating or managing kidney diseases in any part of the world, attributing that to the major reason many, who could not afford the bills, had lost their lives.

He identified late diagnosis and presentation as the causative factor that made cost of managing/treating kidney disease too expensive because most cases were presented late at its fifth stage.

According to him, if the kidney disease is diagnosed early enough, there are chances that its failure will be prevented for decades while the patient lives his normal life.

Bosan identified two types of kidney failures – “Acute kidney and chronic kidney failures”.

“To do kidney transplant or dialysis costs a lot of money anywhere.

“In my own opinion, the only way cost of kidney disease management can drastically be reduced is if the disease is diagnosed much earlier and treatment started.

“When treatment is administered at earlier stage, when the situation has not been complicated, the cost is usually very minimal.

“But if the case is presented late, the cost of managing it must be high and someone has to bear it.

“Even if the treatment is covered by any insurance scheme or the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), it means that the financial burden will be shifted to the third party, which will either be the government or other insurers.

“The truth remains that the costs will certainly be there,” Bosan said.

He, therefore, urged members of the public to care for their vital organs, especially their kidney.

Bosan urged them to submit themselves for regular screening, so that conditions that might result to kidney disease would be detected on time for appropriate treatment.

According to him, most times people die of various diseases because they fail to go for medical checks and screening early enough.

The consultant listed some risk factors of kidney failure to include diabetes, hypertension, hereditary, heart disease, smoking, alcoholism, glomerulonephritis and atheriosclerosis, among others.

Bosan noted that the complicated and scary situations could be salvaged if routine health checks were done.

“Stages of kidney failures are five. Stage one, which is very mild kidney damage to stage five, which is the complete kidney failure.

“Treatment is easier and very affordable at stage one.

“The early investigation includes Urinalysis/urine culture, full blood count, PCV, and urea/creatinine level, electrolyte sedimentation rate and estimated glomerular filtration.

“The treatment and management of the kidney include control of blood pressure, blood sugar level, a limit to alcohol, and healthy weight.

“Others are exercises, low fat intake, no to smoking, low salt intake, timely visit to doctors.

“When bad dialysis becomes an option, it should be followed by transplant in extreme cases,” he said. 

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