FMC Umuahia making waves in kidney transplant – Nephrologist
By Steve Oko
Consultant Nephrologist and the immediate-past Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, has lauded the efforts of the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia in kidney transplant.
Dr Okwuonu who spoke during the 5th anniversary of the Kidney Transplant Centre at the hospital, however, advocated kidney transplant subsidy by Government and corporate entities as the way forward.
He appealed to Government and corporate organizations to quickly come to the aid of kidney patients.
Dr Okwuonu regretted that the rising cost of kidney transplant had prevented a number of kidney patients from receiving the needed attention to prevent their early grave.
According to him, it costs about N9 million to conduct a kidney transplant in Nigeria, wondering how many patients could afford the cost in view of the deplorable economic condition in the country.
He further explained that even patients with as much as N5 million could not have a transplant.
“We saw from our data that we have patients that have N3 million but they were not able to afford a transplant, even N4 million, N5 million, because our transplant programme is N9 million, N7.5 million for the surgery and N1.5million for the tests that are required.”
Okwuonu noted that Nephrologists at the centre were prepared to put in their best, adding that the team can offer quality services obtainable in any western hospital.
The former NMA boss who said that the FMC Umuahia was the only Kidney Transplant Centre in the entire South East, disclosed that the centre has been very impressive in its operations.
According to him, the Centre has conducted 10 transplantations in the last five years with 70% success.
Dr Okwuonu also advocated regular kidney screening and urged patients to seek early treatment.
Continuing he said:”The main purpose of our gathering here today is to celebrate the success we have achieved, enumerate our challenges and discuss the way forward.”
He identified lack of willing donors and rising cost of transplant equipment as some of the impediments hampering kidney transplant in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, some of the patients who underwent kidney transplant at the centre were present at the event to appreciate the team for their good job.
Wawa News Global reports that the establishment of Kidney Centre at the hospital has been widely applauded.
In a remark, the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, FMC, Dr Ugochukwu Onyeonoro, assured that the hospital management would continue to provide support for the kidney transplant programme.
Director of the Kidney Transplant Programme, Dr Anosike Erondu, called for the establishment a Foundation that could subsidize the cost of kidney transplant.
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