A paediatric nephrologist, Dr Adaobi Solarin, says congenital anomalies in children’s kidneys and urinary tract system are responsible for 30 per cent end-stage renal failure.
Solarin said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, ahead of the 2016 World Kidney Day marked every March 10.
According to her, such children, as they grow older, are exposed to other diseases such as malaria, infections, hypertension and diabetes.
The theme for 2016 is: “Kidney Disease and Children: Act Early to Prevent it.”
According to Solarin, 30 per cent, which is a large chunk of the cause of end-stage renal disease, is as a result of congenital anomalies.
“Majority of these anomalies are redeemable by early detection.
“When we have a very good diagnostic scan, a pregnant woman who gets a scan should not just know the sex of the baby, but look at the other organs to detect any anomaly,“ she said.
The nephrologist said that high cost of treatment and inadequate facilities were some of the challenges in managing kidney problems in Nigerian children.
She urged government at all levels, individuals and non-governmental organisations to render support in the management of children with kidney problems.
“The caregivers are the ones who are paying out of pocket, so the issue of insurance is far fetched.
“A child who has renal failure may require dialysis and to get the materials for dialysis, the source is limited, availability is inadequate and accessing the ones available difficult.
“So, we need the support of the government, individuals and organisations in managing kidney problems in children because those children have a lot of potentials in life, “ she said.
Solarin said that renal failure and acute kidney injuries commonly seen in children could be prevented through enlightenment programmes.
“In terms of prevention, hygiene is very important; it is the basic thing people can do including ensuring a child washes his or her hands regularly.
“When a child washes the hands regularly, the incidence of diarrhoea will reduce and acute renal failure will be reduced also.
“Then, the use of medications without the prescription of a doctor must stop. Many people go over the counter to get medications which can be dangerous to the kidneys.
“Pregnant women should be enlightened on the need to check on the other organs of their babies when they go for scan so that if something is noted, it can be corrected,“ she said. (NAN)