The Clinical Director of St. Nicholas Hospital, Dr. Ebun Bamgboye, has sounded an alarm, revealing that a staggering 80 percent of patients seeking treatment for kidney problems at the hospital are already in the end-stage of kidney failure, making it extremely challenging to improve their conditions.
While announcing the official opening of St. Nicholas Hospital in Surulere, Lagos, Nephrologist Bamgboye shared that the hospital’s goal is to provide free health services to the initial 200 individuals in November 2023.
He urged the federal government to assess the provision of essential medications within the nation and establish the robustness of the country’s primary healthcare infrastructure.
He stressed the significance of granting local governments the capacity to provide proper care for patients, encompassing the allocation of resources and the provision of guidance, while also highlighting the need to offer training for those delivering care at the community healthcare level.
There is a pressing need for the government to assess the procedure for enhancing pharmaceuticals, as a substantial number of Nigerians are bypassing hospitals in favour of traditional healers and prayer centres, largely attributed to challenges such as the high cost of drugs.
‘Each medication needs to be registered, and you need to pay. For each batch, you must pay a certain amount and pay import duty on medications, which is up to 20 per cent, and NAFDAC needs to inspect. For them to do that, you need to pay a certain amount, and those that sell need to make a profit.’
‘In countries like India, they decide this is how much a drug will be sold, and they will tell manufacturers that whatever, they should keep it to a certain level.’
‘We have a minister of health who, I believe, is quite aware of what their challenges are. We are expecting that he is going to work within whatever is required to ensure that measures are put in place to bring the prices down.’
‘Many individuals, rather than going to the hospital, end up going to herbalists, prayer houses, and chemists. They receive inadequate care and will present at a stage where damage has been done. Some end up with kidney failure; 80 per cent of patients that we see with kidney failure are already at the end stage when you cannot do anything except start dialysis. But we could have caught them in stages 1, 2, 3, or 4 when it was possible to slow the progression of the disease. But many of them don’t come to the hospital because of these challenges.’
‘One is hopeful that the current minister of health will do the needful to ensure that primary healthcare is provided, and I don’t see the reason why that cannot be done for free. It was done in the first republic and many of the regional governments, even with minimal resources. We did not have oil at that time. Now with oil, I don’t see the reason why primary healthcare cannot be free.’
In reference to the newly opened hospital, he explained that this branch is the fifth in their series, and their mission is to provide healthcare services within reach of the growing Surulere population, aligning with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage.
‘The facility is a fully-fledged medical centre strategically designed to deliver general medical care for families and is supported by my multidisciplinary team, which adheres to the highest ethical standards. Building on our reputation for delivering quality healthcare services at a competitive rate, we are confident that we can replicate the good service we are known for. Individuals and corporate organisations in Surulere can now access a wide range of healthcare services, including pharmacies, geriatric clinics, and home visits. The hospital is headed by our family physician, Dr Basirat Salami, whose wealth of experience as a consultant family physician is invaluable in the management of the centre.’
‘St. Nicholas Hospital is hosting a free medical all through the four weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) in November for the first 200 people. The outreach will feature free medical tests for the Surulere community, including blood pressure, blood sugar levels, urine tests, doctor’s consultations, and medications.’
‘We are internationally accredited for quality improvement and patient safety in healthcare by the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) and nationally recognised for the excellence in care we have traditionally provided. St. Nicholas Hospital is the first private hospital to open a dialysis and kidney transplant centre and has since conducted over 400 kidney transplants. We have received the award for Dialysis Provider of the Year from Global Health Project and resources in partnership with Anadach Group.’