By Oriaku Angela, Dim Chinwendu & Eze Chekwube.


The Nephrology Department of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku/Ozalla Enugu recently joined the rest of the world to mark the 2024 World Kidney Day, tagged KIDNEY HEALTH FOR ALL, with the theme: ”Advancing equitable access to care and optimal Medication Practice”.

In a chat with one of the organisers Dr. Ugochi Onu, Consultant Nephrologist, “Kidney is one of the special organs in the body which is involved in a whole lot of functions to keep the body healthy. Once it is diseased most of its functions are lost and this can warrant Renal Replacement therapy in the form of Dialysis or Renal transplant”.

She explained that some functions of the kidney include: Blood pressure regulations, Hormone production, active form of vitamins D, regulations of acid base balance to maintain normal blood PH, maintaining water balance, regulation of electrolyte balance and removal of wastes/toxins from the body.

She explained further that there are risk factors which affect the functions of the kidney. She categorized them as modifiable and non-modifiable factors. According to her, the modifiable factors are smoking, use of herbal medications, use of soap or creams containing mercury for skin lightening, abuse of alcohol, excessive use of salt, abuse of medications like painkillers especially NSAIDS, antibiotics (eg aminoglycosides like gentamicin) and some other Nephrotoxic medications, while the non-modifiable risk factors include age, sex, race, family history and low birth weight.

Our Online News Channel also gathered that some requirements for a healthy kidney includes eating healthy balanced diets, eating vegetables and fruits regularly, taking adequate water a day, at least three litres, not adding salt in meals, not smoking either actively or passively and exercising daily.

Advising the attendees, Dr Julius Okoye Consultant Nephrologist, encouraged them to always access the hospital for medical check-ups and laboratory investigations at least once a year, adding that people with Hypertension, Diabetes, Hepatitis B and C and Retroviral disease should take the check-up as a must do. He also added that self-medication is not acceptable and maintained that if there is any background of chronic disease, such people should strictly adhere to medications and regular hospital check-up visits.

In her conclusion, Dr Ugochi emphasized that most of these kidney diseases are quite preventable only if people can live a healthy lifestyle and warned that failure to do so, may result in chronic kidney disease, with a high chance of being dependent on drugs and renal replacement therapies which are quite expensive and may not be sustainable.

The kidney

One of the highlights of the 2024 world Kidney Day remembrance was the free screaming exercises which took place at St Joseph Catholic Church, Emene Enugu.

The organisers did not fail to appreciate the support of the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Obinna Onodugo who is also a Consultant Nephrologist in their department.

Other members of the team are Dr Chukwuma Esther together with other Nephrologists in attendance.

Edited by Okoruwa Patrick & Uchelue Boniface