University Of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Performs First Successful Kidney Transplant

University Of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Performs First Successful Kidney Transplant

The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, has performed a successful first kidney transplant.

The patient, Mr. Solomon Mmommah who, on Thursday, spoke with curious journalists who thronged the tertiary hospital, said he was happy that the operation was successful.

He said he had visited over 10 hospitals, all of which diagnosed his health issue as malaria and typhoid, even though he was not responding to any of the treatments they offered him.

He was subsequently diagnosed with kidney problem at a hospital in Abeokuta.

He said he came to UITH when he learnt that kidney transplant could be performed at the hospital.

The 29-year-old man who hails from Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State said he could not inform his hypertensive mother of his kidney problem, having lost his father some years ago.

However, he confided in his siblings who encouraged him to undergo the surgical procedure.

He advised Nigerians to patronise the medical experts in the country, adding that there is no need to travel abroad for medical treatment since, according to him, there are enough qualified Nigerian doctors to handle such medical challenges in the country.

He said he started the medical procedure in UITH last December and was grateful to the hospital for successfully carrying out a kidney transplant on him.

He said he was satisfied with the level of care he received.

The Chief Medical Officer, UITH, Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, said the hospital initially had infrastructure and personnel inadequacy but had to improve upon what it had.

He was certain that health professionals in Nigeria could provide world-class solution to many health challenges facing the citizens, adding that Nigerians should have faith in the nation’s health system and avoid medical tourism, which has become the norm.

He identified manpower and infrastructure inadequacy as well as funding as some of the problems the hospital’s authorities overcame before achieving the medical feat.

Olatinwo said, “We have one-point agenda, which is ‘quality care that guarantees total satisfaction.’ One of the challenges we faced in our efforts to achieve that agenda was that there were some procedures that could not be performed at UITH. So, we had to start building up capacity and providing necessary equipment to realise that.

“It is in line with that, that we are able to perform the first and successful renal transplant. We had challenges in infrastructural facilities and funds.

“Renal transplant is very expensive. In some hospitals, it could cost over N8m and when you are looking at the people travelling abroad, when you consider all the cost, it might be more than N10m. But the one we did, looking at the visible cost, is about N2m.”

Consultant Nephrologist, Department of Medicine, Renal Care Centre, UITH, Prof. Adindu Chijioke, explained that there were two types of transplants: sequential and simultaneously.

He said the method adopted by UITH for Mmommah was sequential, adding that UITH does not have enough surgeons to simultaneously do kidney harvesting and transplant.

He said many of the kidney patients were below 40 years of age and expressed concern that they formed the bulk of the productive workforce of the nation.

He appealed to governments at all levels to invest more in health care so that patients could access care, stressing that healthy and clean environment was also desirable.

He identified main cause of kidney ailment as infection that affects the kidney, such as hypertension and diabetes. He also warned that indiscriminate use of local herbs could damage the kidney, among other factors.

Chijioke said, “If government can look into that so that people can live in healthy environment devoid of infection, and people can have proper medical check-up to detect hypertension early enough and if there are drugs, there will be a lot of progress in our health care system.

He said, “Government should look inwards and think of a way of providing means of taking care of the people. Eighty per cent of people with kidney problem are people below 40 years of age. They are the productive group of this country. It will be very helpful if the government will factor in subsidy in our health insurance scheme so that people can have dialysis until they get suitable donors.”

Another Consultant Nephrologist in the hospital, Dr. Olanrewaju Timothy, said challenges of managing kidney problems are numerous.

According to him, one of them is funding. He noted that some patients are very poor and cannot afford the cost of managing kidney diseases.

“The next challenge is infrastructure and facilities. We had to do some investigation even outside the country because of lack of equipment; but we were able to overcome the challenges,” Timothy said.


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