by Francis Okoye
Persons suffering from kidney disease, especially in the developing countries are faced with many problems, ranging from lack of proper healthcare facilities to funds for treatment.
Individuals, corporate bodies, Government agencies and Non governmental organizations/religious groups can do something to help fight against kidney disease-an often neglected disease in most developing countries, which renders the patients, their family and relations almost without help in fighting it, and ensuring that the patients survive kidney disease .
Here are 10 ways to fight kidney disease:
1. Find Employment for Patients – most of those down with kidney disease no longer do any work, due to the time required to do dialysis 2 or 3 time a week, and the cost of such treatment. Finding paid employment for persons with kidney disease is one way of fighting the disease. The work could be few hours a day, part time or full time, or could be for specific days a week to allow time for care of the patient. It could also come in form of the person receiving support to be self employed. For those who can afford it, they could also place kidney patients on monthly pay or living stipend.
2. Employee Buy Dialysis Machine – An employee of a kidney patient could do well to buy a dialysis machine for the kidney patient. I know of a woman who benefited from this in her own case, and it was installed in her house and she and her family were taught how to use it. Ngo’s ,Companies, Religious bodies can also buy it for kidney patients.
3. Pay for dialysis, companies, religious bodies and even government can pay for dialysis of kidney patients, they can subsidize the fee or offer free dialysis services to kidney patients.
4. Make kidney transplant available and affordable.
Developing countries should make kidney transplant available and affordable. A situation in which a kidney patient would have travel to Dubai or India and pay huge sums of money which they don’t have can no longer be the order of the day.
Nothing stops an Ngo, company or religious body from providing kidney transplant services in their country at affordable prices.
5. Public Awareness and enlightenment
Little or no public awareness and enlightenment is done by Healthcare professionals, government and Ngo’s to explain kidney disease – causes, symptoms and how to avoid it. This should be part of basic Health education in Secondary schools and Universities like the case with HIV/AIDS.
It is only in this way, that new cases of kidney disease would be on the decline and new death through kidney disease reduced drastically, especially in developing countries.
6. Health insurance – Health insurance, which is becoming more fashionable in some developing countries should cover kidney disease care.
7. Local production of kidney disease drugs – pharmaceutical companies should undertake local production of kidney disease drugs in developing countries, to bring down the cost of the drugs and treatment regime. This would also make the drugs readily available and affordable like was done with the malaria drugs , ACT.
8. Kidney patients trust fund – A trust fund should be set up by relevant organizations in developing countries as is done in the USA , so that kidney patients can access the fund for their various needs.
9. Train more Health Personnel’s – more Health personnel should be trained and employed to manage kidney disease patients. I know of a State in Nigeria that set up a multi-million Naira kidney dialysis center complete with facilities over 5 years ago, but with no staff till this moment, no one has been employed or trained to manage the center.
10. Network – kidney patients, their friends and relations should network among themselves – no body can say all the benefits of network for kidney patients, but be rest assured, they can help in the fight against kidney disease.