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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nigeria: How Private Hospitals Are Championing Kidney Transplants - Urologist

Urologist Dr Olusola Ajamu has said private hospitals are leading state-run facilities in the race to make Nigeria a hub of kidney transplants in efforts to cut the numbers of patients going abroad for the procedure but a little government support could increase access to transplants in a matter of months.

His comments came after a team of local and foreign doctors completed four kidney transplants at Abuja-based Zenith Hospital last weekthe second after two previous transplants in May.
We have few government hospitals in Nigeria who have done some surgeries, like [University College Hospital, Ibadan and [Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital], Ife, but it is only private hospitals that are championing kidney transplants, Ajamu told Daily Trust.
Ajamu was among four local experts who took part in the surgeries, and two more are planned to hold as early as October.
An increasing number of private hospitals in Lagos and Abuja have since last year successfully done kidney transplants at costs lower than charges in India, where up to 5,000 Nigerians travel every month for medical care, costing Nigeria up to N78 billion annually, according to some estimates.Olusola said more Nigerians with chronic kidney disease are becoming aware they need dialysis or transplant but the development of kidney transplant is at a stage where it is still capital intensive.
Hospitals offering them must train staff, procure expensive medication and get facilities to make transplants safe and successful.
That has been the problem in Nigeria. But now people now they can get transplants, we are beginning to see people putting up money to access it, said Ajamu.
What we need to do is for government to empower these private hospitals, so there wont be any need for these patients to travel abroad."
Ajamu suggested training indigenous urologists or helping local hospitals finance the importation of foreign experts to accommodate the rising number of patients in need of transplants.
We have experts here. It is not a disease that is new to us. We are able to train in the techniques. All you need is just some extra training that will specific to kidney transplants. If that is done, in a couple of months you would not have any need to send anybody abroad.
[ Judd-Leonard Okafor, All Africa]

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