A kidney doctor at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Dr. Udeme Ekrikpo, has lauded the Akwa Ibom State government for providing drug to treat renal disease patients.
Ekrikpo who delivered a paper ‘The Impact of Oil Exploration Activities in the Ecosystem by Oil and Gas Firms in the Niger Delta’ at a conference in Uyo made the commendation following the government’s acquisition of dialysis equipment for treatment of renal disease.
He said the provision of the equipment was part of government’s efforts to reduce the growing cases of kidney failure in the state.
“The number of patients coming for dialysis is alarming and the cost is prohibitive. It could cost up to N500, 000 for four sessions of dialysis and not many people can afford this. So I also make a passionate appeal to the state government for assistance,” he said.
He attributed the increase in the cases of kidney failure to many environmental factors as well as non-communicable diseases, including hypertension.
He said one out of every three adults in Akwa Ibom State living in crude oil producing communities suffers from high blood pressure.
Ekrikpo suggested Universal Health Coverage to expand access to healthcare services in the country, adding that other countries with less endowment have moved to provide subsidised treatment for their citizens.
“If we have Universal Coverage Scheme and with as little of N1 billion, it will be easy to provide anti hypertensive drugs for those requiring treatment. This will help bring down the incidence of kidney failure in the country.
“It is no rocket science. This is something that can be done even if it starts with a pilot scheme. The university health coverage will ameliorate the high cost of treatment for kidney disease and reduce cases of kidney failures,” he added.