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February 20, 2024
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Obasanjo calls for new law to support kidney patients, organ harvesting

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has tasked the legislative on a new bill to help people with kidney disease and enact essential regulations to combat the country’s developing organ trafficking.

Obasanjo made the call on Tuesday at the 36th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Nephrology held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Speaking at the conference with the theme: “Optimizing Dialysis Therapy To Prolong Survival”, he commended the body for its efforts in screening, educating and recurring partnerships aimed at lowering the disease’s prevalence, particularly in young people and children.

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Lamenting the high rate of kidney failure in Africa, the former president pointed out that 15% of adult Nigerians suffer from kidney failure, which is irreversible and potentially fatal if left untreated.

“I have also been informed that the prevalence of kidney failure in Africa is higher than anywhere else in the world as an average African is 4 times more likely to develop kidney problem than a Caucasian or Mediterranean race. 

“From available reports, 1 out of 7, that is, about 15% of adult Nigerians have kidney failure which cannot be reversed and is life-threatening if left untreated.

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“There is urgent need for legislative support in terms of a new bill to support affected persons. Organ trafficking is an emerging issue in our environment and I want to plead with agencies concerned to help in examining relevant laws especially with regards to cadaveric donations taking cognizance of our peculiar cultural and societal idiosyncrasies and also laws guiding organs to be harvested from living donors.”

Obansanjo however, urged the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to increase its capacity in providing support to the patience and called on well-meaning philanthropists, foundations and corporate Nigeria to collaborate in providing succor.

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“I wish to acknowledge the role of NHIS in providing limited support for only six dialysis sessions, but I want to suggest a need to consider increasing the carrying capacity substantially as obtains in South Africa and Sudan.”

“ At this juncture, I want to call on diasporas, well-meaning philanthropists, foundations and corporate Nigeria to support worthy initiatives by the Nigerian Association of Nephrology, NAN, in reducing cost or helping out with capacity development, equipment support and other means of providing succor.

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