This he said during the launch of Dialysis Centre of St Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Ijede Road, Ikorodu, Lagos, sponsored by Afolabi and Okogie families, aimed at improving treatment of people with kidney disease in the country.
The Catholic Archbishop who is also the Proprietor of St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital reiterated that when the health care system of a country is not properly put together as well as the pension health insurance scheme, naturally the people suffers more. “So for this reason, it is important that our health insurance schemes are strengthen and made available for everyone as to minimize trouble for anyone who need to access health care facilities.”
The Archbishop said the Centre would be fair enough regarding bills because the dialysis centre was established out of charity. He noted that charges collected from patients are meant for staff remuneration and maintaining the facility. “Affordability and sustainability are key to us. If we don’t charge at a sustainable rate, we cannot keep this place going.
“A little charge is neccesary for obvious reasons, since this place is recognised as not regular private hospital, it’s a mission hospital, it has the responsibility of not only ensuring to “breaks- even,” but must keep going without any need for subvention from anywhere, so we strike a balance between the need of been sustainable and affordable of that which we have.”
On his part, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, said there is need for establishement of more specialist health facilities across the country, while urging the federal and state governments to invest hugely in health care to address the different major ailments increasing the mortality rate in the country.
The Director of Administration, Sr. Mary Hyacintha Ihedike, EHJ, said the centre was a dream come true, to save lives of people who suffer this deadly disease especially the indigents of Ikorodu and its environs.
She said: “Establishing the Centre took a toll of substantial investments from some well meaning Nigerians, howbeit asked the state and federal government to support the centre and others in the country.”
She maintained that the dialysis centre is an access to healthcare initiative sponsored by the Afolabi and Okogie families, aimed at ensuring access to quality and affordable health care services for our brothers and sisters with kidney disease.
“If kidney problems are diagnosed early, they could be treated well. It is a project at the right time when our sick patients find it so difficult to access dialysis in order to maintain their health.
“Health is of utmost important to man and can contribute immensely to the society only if he is healthy. Hence a greater priority should be given to our health. It goes to show why we are happy that with this dialysis centre being commissioned today, so many lives will be saved in Ikorodu environ and beyond.”
She stressed that the clinic would join the list of other clinics like: GOPD, obstetrics and gynaecology clinic, urology clinic, paediatrics clinic, child welfare /immunization clinic, ophthalmology clinic, orthopedic clinic, cardiology clinic, HIV/AIDS clinic, diabetic and hypertensive clinic, physiotherapy clinic, nephrology clinic with a functioning dialysis unit and conducive private and general wards.
“We are driven by our purpose to improve the quality of life for every person who comes through our doors and elevate the community we touch. That is why this dialysis centre is a welcome relief to the people in Ikorodu and communities around us. It must however be noted that lack of awareness about the presence of a dialysis centre will result into a low influx of patients.
“The impact of corona virus pandemic in all facets of life cannot be over emphasized and has necessitated the need for urgent action. Due to the global lockdown, medical tourism is no longer possible. Many people have died due to either inadequate equipment, or trained personnel and consumables/personal protective equipments (PPEs) to work with.
“COVID-19 crisis is testing both the medical and managerial competencies of health care systems throughout the world. It is of urgent need for the Archdiocese to equip their hospitals to be able to manage and handle all cases brought to us because we don’t have what we need to take care of them.
“We appeal to the Lagos state government, Archbishop, as well as men and women of goodwill in Lagos and Nigeria to help us in areas of equipping an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), New hospital ambulance, 300KVA generator and other equipment needed to properly take care of our patients.
“We also appeal for Philanthropic organisations to assist in payment of hospital bills of indigent patients. Our health professional are smart and most conscientious people; we are examining every procedure and protocol to see if treatment can be carried out faster, better and more efficiently,” she implored.
Meanwhile, a consultant nephrologist, Dr Stella Alagbe said the the commonest risks factors of kidney disease in our environment are hypertension, diabetes and what is called chronic nonogloflieties and a couple of other diseases also but for the public health perspective the most important causes are hypertension and diabetes, which are very deadly and if they are not controlled, may worsen the whole case.
The nephrologists called on patients with these two diseases to take care of themselves and get treatment, noting that if well controlled many of them will not end in kidney failure.
“I will like to emphasise from the point of view of social life is; you see cigarette smoking, use of herbal and illicit medications affects the cadiocavex section of the kidneys in the long run. For alcohol, those who must take it must enure it is in moderation, as for cigarette it’s a no -no, it’s not a question of moderation, even one stick of cigarette for kidney disease patient is a no- no. Those with kidney failure must better avoid cegaratte because at the end of the day, it only aggravate their condition,” she said.