The Delta State Government has assured Deltans on the determination of the Okowa administration to return Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara (DELSUTH) to those glorious days when it successfully carried out kidney transplant on patients thereby stemming health tourism.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health Dr. Nicholas Azinge gave the assurance yesterday in his office when members of the Kidney Care Association, Delta State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit.
He said Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is a listening Governor and as a medical Doctor is very much concerned in meeting his campaign promises of providing healthcare services for all Deltans.
The Commissioner said that the death of Deltans due to inability to access kidney transplant care and the procurement of medicines are not acceptable and will do all within his power to address the problem.
He posited that sensitization and enlightenment campaigns are very important in checking the rise of kidney related disease and hence his ministry will partner with the Association in this regard.
Commissioner Azinge called for more coordinated disease screening activities for better coverage adding that screening for kidney will be given the importance placed on the screening for High blood pressure.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Association Pastor Robinson Odega listed the aims and objectives of the Association to include the creation of a forum to know each other, create awareness and enlighten the public on the need for a healthy lifestyle in a bid to preventing kidney disease and failure, create a data bank which will help government to know and possibly assist kidney patients amongst others.
He said they came to intimate government on their plight and the financial burden their members face in sourcing for funds to maintain their transplanted kidneys which have become too heavy for their immediate families to bear alone due to the high cost of purchasing dollars in the Nigerian money market adding that it costs nothing less than N2.5m to sustain a kidney patient for a year.
Pastor Odega revealed that their Association has before now been able to educate the public through radio and television broadcasts and news commentaries on the need to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the disease.
He pleaded with government to extend the privileges it gives to HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and other related disease through its provision of drugs for them free.
Pastor Odega said that in the past the State Government used to assist kidney patients financially while travelling for medical checkup and the purchase of their drugs and therefore pleaded for government’s assistance in any way it could to alleviate their plight.