Mrs. Josephine Chielo
Mrs. Josephine Chielo, who is a victim of renal failure misdiagnosis,needs immediate financial intervention to help her seek proper medical treatment for her worsening health condition, writes Steve Dada
Before October last year, Mrs. Josephine Chielo was full of life and she eagerly looked forward to accomplishing some of her set out goals. She did not have the slightest inkling of what fate had in stock for her. The bubbling Chielo later became a shadow of herself due to an end stage kidney failure whichhas rendered her completely incapacitated. The unwanted visitor had crept into the family of Chilelos and turned the family’s joy into anguish and misery. Today, the mother of six can hardly do anything on her own without assistance from a family member.
Chielo’s second child, Jennifer bore a heavy heart and so much emotion when she walked into THISDAY Corporate headquarters, Apapa, Lagos, recently to narrate the story of her beloved mother. She was agitated and feasibly worried about the plight of her mother who has been bed-ridden at the St-Nicholas Hospital where arrangement is on to get her new kidney for survival. She was also more desperate because of the claim by the doctor that her mother is not responding to treatment which makes her matter very critical. In the next few days, Chielo needs to get a transplant done if she has to survive.
Narrating her ordeal, Jennifer who resides at number 2, Modupe Street, Anifowose, Ikeja with her parents and siblings said her mother’s health started deteriorating in October last year, having been diabetic for some years and due to the diabetes, she ran into coma and then her kidneys were affected and also one of her eyes, which she claimed can no longer see.
“But we didn’t have any idea of her true health situation.We were just treating her for the main thing (diabetes). We first took her to the First Foundation Hospital, Enugu, from there to the general hospital and thereafter to Adekemi Hospital, from where we took her to Total Health Hospital in Lagos. We have been taking her round until about three weeks ago when we took her to St-Nicholas Hospital and there they told us she has an end stage kidney failure,’’ she stated.
Jennifer said it has reached a stage where her mother’s kidneys can no longer be reversed and the only option now is for her do a kidney transplant. According to Jennifer, though her mother is on dialysis now but she is not responding to dialysis, “because she kept shaking and the whole thing is eating her up badly.That is why we need help,” she said.
She said her mother since last year had been treated of coma and low blood and there was no sign of any improvement. “We have been trying to know why her blood has been going down since last year, we have been treating her and we have not been seeing anything. We have been able to revive her from coma many times. We were treating her for diabetes and we never knew that it was kidney problem,” she narrated.
Continuing she said, her sugar level now is normal and the diabetes is not her problem now.What we are now fighting for is just the kidney issue,” Jennifer said.
An expert at St-Nicholas Hospital, Dr. EbunBangboye, said that the treatment of kidney failure is beyond the financial capacity of any family no matter how rich. “After the transplant has been concluded and a success is recorded, that is not the end, the transplant has to be sustained with the aid of drugs, to forestall a situation that can cause it to relapse,” he noted.
Due to the post-transplant management financial requirement, as the patient requires an average of N150, 000 to buy drugs that would be needed for the sustenance of the transplant monthly, the whooping amount for the rest of life he noted is huge for any family’s financial outlay.
Talking about chronic kidney disease, which according to him is approaching an epidemic proportion, he described it as a gradual progressive and often irreversible decline in kidney function, while on the other hand the acute kidney failure may be reversible.
The medical expert hinted that the use of concoction (native medicine) from certain study has shown that the consumption of the unregulated dosage of such drugs may have escalated the rate of kidney attack in Nigeria and warned that more researches should be conducted on native medicine for proper treatment of ailments.
In children, the expert attributed the causes of kidney failure in our environment to congenital abnormalities and chronic glomerulonephritis (often a complication of chronic infections) as the commonest ones and on a general note, other preventable causes include misuse and abuse of analgesic and toxic nephropathy, stressing that people of African origin are four times more likely to develop kidney failure than Caucasians.
“It is estimated that about 10 per cent of the population of the world has some degree of kidney failure or the other, while in Nigeria certain sentinel studies suggest a prevalence of 18 per cent of the population and that some ethic groups may be more prone than others,’’ he noted.
The problem leading to high prevalence of the disease could be as a result of the fact that most patients present late in the illness, at a point where dialysis and transplantation are required and often misdiagnosed with multiple co-morbidity coupled with the fact that dialysis centres in Nigeria are few in number, while available ones are mainly restricted to urban areas with very few machines which are often without adequately trained and motivated staff.
The patient’s husband, Mr. RomanusChielo, retired from the Nigeria Airways in 2002 while hereldest daughter Chioma, is currently a contract staff with Stambic IBTC bank earning little salary. Jennifer, who is currently performing her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), teaches in a secondary school. Her immediate junior brother, Ikenna, is in a higher institution, while the next child, Faith, is in a secondary school and the last two,Nnenna and Obiageli are both in the primary school.
“We have been finding it difficult to cope and it has not been easy at all. In fact everybody has to be on course now because most of the funds we have are just going to my mother’s health and it has not been easy for us at all,” Jennifer said.
The problem the family is facing is running them bankrupt and it might end the educational pursuits of the children. This is what their mother could not get which she was struggling to give to her children before falling sick. “But for now we are not even sure of their next term going to school, they might have to pause for a while, until we have settled with the problem to an extent before they can now begin schooling again,’’ she lamented.
She needs five million naira for the transplant and N1.5million for the post-transplant drugs. “We don’t have anything now even to keep up with dialysis is a problem. Because of her situation sometimes we pay about N60,000 and we have to dialyse her two times in a week, the least we have paid is N55, 000. They have to give her series of injections and other things with the dialysis.”
For this, Chielos are appealing to kind-hearted Nigerians, corporate bodies, philanthropists and general public to assist in helping the family to raise the sum of N6.5 million currently standing between Josephine Chielo and survival. Such money could be paid into thisaccount number- 1016458793 of United Bank for Africa (UBA).