As Nigerians joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Kidney Day, usually celebrated on 11 March, members of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, Lagos Chapter, have identified abuse of analgesics as a leading cause of kidney disease in the country, aside other known causes.
They listed other established causes of kidney disease to include uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes, drug abuse, consumption of herbal concoction, alcoholic drinks, smoking, and so on. The pharmacists made this remarks at an awareness creation programme on the maintenance of healthy kidney, organised to mark the World Kidney Day, held at the Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos.
Speaking with the Planning Committee Chairman, World Kidney Day, Pharm. (Mrs) Yewande Olorunsola, she decried the way and manner in which poisonous substances are openly displayed on streets and motor parks by hawkers, which allows easy access to these substances by addicts.
Olorunsola, who called on government to set up a special task force for this reason, said, there is the urgent need to regulate the sales of these herbal concoctions in open places, to reduce cases of people coming down with kidney conditions.
She further explained: “The government needs to step up its special task force for this. Although these hawkers have their own association of traditional medicine dealers, the PSN can also invite their association during the PSN Week, to engage them in discussion regarding the regulation of their herbs, perhaps through them, their customers can be enlightened.
“If you visit the dialysis clinic at LUTH, they will tell you that most of the kidney cases they are treating are due to analgesics consumption. Majority of these artisans who work in the sun all day, often complain about body ache, and they just go on to purchase analgesics without prescription. In fact, some of them are in the habit of using Alabukun without diluting it in water.
According to the Deputy Director, Pharmacy Department, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Pharm.(Dr) Modupe Oyawole, indiscriminate usage of analgesics, has been identified as the cause of kidney problem for most of their patients”, she disclosed.
Addressing participants earlier in a health talk at the programme, the Lagos AHAPN Chairman, Pharm. Titilayo Onedo explained means of preventing kidney diseases to the people, while advocating early detection, as most Nigerians can’t afford the cost of managing kidney diseases.
She highlighted some preventive measures to be cultivated to include: regular monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar, regular exercise, adequate hydration, avoidance of fried foods, abstinence from self medication, avoiding heavy consumption of red meat, abstinence from drug abuse and misuse, eating of healthy foods loaded with fibre, fruits and vegetables, and others.
Onedo further stated that part of the preventive measures is what the association set up for the celebration of the World Kidney Day, at the Surulere Local Government Area, by conducting free urinalysis, screening of blood glucose, blood pressure, Hepatis b, and body mass index.
Pharm. Kingsley, one of the coordinators of the programme, stressed the importance of the kidney in the human body, which makes it very essential for people to check what they consume in order to prevent the kidney from being damaged.
He said: “drugs can damage the kidney, and it is noted that kidney function decreases as one advances in age. One important test all of us must do to know our kidney status is called Systemic Clearance. This will help us plan our lifestyle better.
“If the kidney is not functioning well, what that means is that you’ve not being excreting drugs properly, the side effects will increase and worsen the kidney”, he asserted.
He listed some symptoms of kidney problem to include: Swollen face, legs, stomach, and others.
Speaking with two participants at the screening centre, Alhaja Risi Aromire and Amina Ogunleye, they both appreciated the efforts of the association for the free screening, while the former said her screening results showed that she has high blood pressure, as well as being overweight, the latter disclosed that her results was she is alright.