John Adams, WMinna
Patients suffering from kidney related disease in Niger State have a reason to cheer up. This is because the 26-year-old Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) Specialists Hospital, Minna, would soon commence kidney transplant operations.
Though there are seven kidney-transplant centers in Nigeria, only about 200 cases, representing less than 10 percent of these cases were carried out in the country. It was gathered that equipment and personnel needed to conduct operation are now in place. The first of such operation in the hospital would take place in the next one month.
Its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Isah Umar, said test runs of the kidney transplant were performed by a team of indigenous medical experts in the hospital: “The centre was the result of the determination of the state government to provide quality healthcare to the people. The setting up of the transplant center would help address the issue of medical tourism.
“The vision of government is to make IBB Specialists Hospital a foremost health institute, where transplants can be done, especially kidney, considering the rising cases of renal failure. Sixty percent of patients on wheel chair at the international airport today have to do with kidney issues. Most of them are going to India or the United States for transplant, with a lot of foreign exchange involved.”
Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, who has managed kidney related cases for over 20 years, believed that the kidney transplant, when fully operational, would reduce the number of deaths associated with kidney disease: “Many Nigerians die of kidney related illnesses due to their inability to fund the cost of the treatment abroad. Kidney transplant abroad goes for between N10 million and N15 million.
“With the completion of the second kidney transplant at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), there is no doubt that the coming on board of the IBB Kidney Transplant Center will further reduce medical tourism abroad.
“The reasons they travel out are because of power, equipment and environment, among others. But now that these challenges have been taken care of by most kidney transplant centers in the country, it is high time Nigerians patronized indigenous centres”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Maku Sidi, said: “Yes, I can confirm to you that the test runs were successful. One of the patients, a woman, has just been married and had given birth. The next transplant exercise will now take place in the hospital.” He advised the people to stop wasting their hard-earned resources on medical tourism abroad: “We have what you are going out to look for here.”