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World Kidney Day: Senate wants comprehensive coverage for chronic kidney disease patients in NHIS

The Senate has urged its Committees on Health to lobby for the expansion of comprehensive coverage for the treatment of chronic disease patients in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

It also urged the committee to work toward ensuring that financial constraints did not hinder access to essential treatments for chronic kidney disease patients.

The Senate’s resolution followed the adoption of a motion for increased awareness and improvement of kidney treatment facilities in Nigeria at plenary on Thursday.

The motion was sponsored by Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’adua (APC-Katsina) to mark World Kidney Day.

Yar’adua in his lead debate, said that recent statistics from the Nigerian Association of Nephrology revealed that an alarming 25 million Nigerians were living with kidney disease.

According to him, this calls for urgent attention to address the prevalence of the life-threatening condition and improve kidney treatment facilities in Nigeria.

He said that chronic kidney disease constituted about 40 percent of referrals to tertiary hospitals in Nigeria and was a significant contributor to daily hospital admissions.

He said the cost of dialysis sessions in Nigeria ranged from N20,000 to N50,000 per session, adding that the situation had led to low adherence rates due to financial constraints.

He said that kidney transplantation, an alternative to dialysis, was financially unattainable for many, with the cost exceeding N6.5 million in some cases.

He said it was worrisome that the NHIS in Nigeria provided limited coverage for chronic kidney disease patients, highlighting the need for expanded insurance coverage to support treatment.

He urged the federal government and other stakeholders to launch extensive public education campaigns to raise awareness about kidney disease prevention, risks, and available treatments.

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According to him, urgent steps should be taken to enhance kidney treatment facilities across the country.

“This includes increasing the number of functional dialysis centres in tertiary health facilities, ensuring access to dialysis treatments even in remote areas, and addressing the shortage of dialysis nurses and specialised technicians,” he said.

Yar’adua stressed the need to act swiftly to address the increasing burden of kidney disease in Nigeria through increasing awareness, improving treatment facilities, expanding insurance coverage, and supporting infection prevention measures.

The Senate also urged the Federal Ministry of Health and other allied ministries to implement infection prevention, training, and supervision protocols to safeguard chronic kidney disease patients.

It also urged the federal government and other stakeholders to launch extensive public education campaigns to increase awareness about kidney disease prevention, risks, and available treatments.

It urged the Federal Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to include extensive public education campaigns to raise awareness about kidney disease prevention, risks, and available treatments in their school curricula.

It further urged the federal government to create an intervention fund to increase the number of functional dialysis centers in tertiary health facilities and ensure access to dialysis treatments even in remote areas. (NAN)

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