Death is said to be a necessary end for all human. However, frequency of its occurrence becomes a source of worry when its causes is centered on one issue. Kidney failure has left a huge scar in the world today, but its scale on celebrities remains a source of concern. CHIKAODI CHUKWULETA takes a look at the dreaded disease and its death toll on Nigerian celebrities. She writes.
Kidney failure happens when the kidney fails to function properly . Kidney is a two bean shaped organ located on either side of the body, just beneath the ribcage that carry out a number of important functions, including filtering out waste products and excess water from the blood before converting them into urine , helping to maintain blood pressure, among others.
Over three million people in the country have chronic kidney diseases and an estimated 13,000 people die from the disease each year.
According to research , kidney failure is more common among black people. The reasons for this include high rate of diabetes and high blood pressure, painless glomerulonphrtis and a hereditary condition called polycystic disease. There are a lot of symptoms associated with kidney failure such as feeling tired, swelling of legs, hands or face, increased need to urinate, particularly at night, darkness or redness in urine which may have an offensive odour or look foamy, persistence thirst, Itchy skin, loss of sex drive in men, erectile dysfunction etc.
Those who have fallen under the hammer of kidney failure
James Uche: This actor was ill for eight years, battled with diabetes and kidney failure and finally died on the way to undergo dialysis, two days to his scheduled trip to India for a kidney transplant and eye surgery.
Obi Madubogwu: Battled with chronic diabetes sore and kidney failure for sometime, before he finally lost the battle to death. He was known for his lead role in movies such as king of Musanga, Passion of Blood, Mother-in-law, etc.
Ademola Ariyo: The cinematograher died in, 2017. The movie maker was known to have shot movies like Osuofia in London, Blood Money, Igodo, to name a few. Ayiro who also shot the popular tourism and travel programme, titled ‘Goje Africa’, suffered financial problem and begged for financial aid on the streets of Surulere, Lagos, as his health worsened and could not get the money for his treatment.
Muna Obiekwe: A darling of the entertainment industry and a rising star of unlimited possibilities died on Sunday, 18th January, 2015, in a hospital in Festac, Lagos, after his condition of health deteriorated . He was said to have required up to 20 dialysis to stablise his condition at about 250, 000 every week which proved too high for him and his close friends to shoulder.
OJB Jazreal, a popular musician, who was some years back flown to India for a kidney transplant which was successful, but latter relapsed and led his death.
Chike Bryan: Former president of Scriptwriters Guild of Nigeria died three years after he survived a kidney transplant in India.
Ajidara, as was popularly called, a Yoruba actor and chairman of the Threatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Branch, died after he was reportedly ill. He took the role of a pastor in many of the films he acted with “Abela pupa” (Red Candle) being one of the works that gave him popularity. He died in the process of raising fund for his treatment according to his colleagues.
Those who battled and survived kidney failure.
Leo Mezie: He was down with kidney related disease for almost four months. Mezi returned from the United States, where he went for medical treatment, looking hale and heathy. It was in July, 2017, that news broke that he was down with advanced stage of kidney failure and required over 60,000 pounds to carry out a transplant, but surprisingly, his kidney started working again as confirmed by a source. .
Prince Ifeanyi Dike: The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), who suffered from the disease was successful after kidney transplant in India. He was out of the country for more than one year. Dike is a movie producer who founded Actors Guild of Nigeria back in the 90’s.
What people think about kidney failure
Possible causes: Recent findings from research works by some health agencies revealed the life expectancy of Nigerians to be between 53-55 years. It added that a good number of people die early due to their recklessness and carefree attitude towards eating. The source confirmed that eating balanced diet is the surest way to ensure that the metabolic activities of the body are in gear.
A source who don’t want his name to be published , who survived kidney transplant attributed it on lifestyle and medication, noting that smoking and drinking contributes immensely to the disease but stressed that too much of self medication should not be discontented. “ One thing that causes it especially in Nigeria is too much of self medication to suppress pain, too much of use of analgesics. I think that was what knocked my kidney down because I used to work very hard and every time I swallow two tablets to quell the pains without giving my body rest tod reinvigorate itself.
An upcoming female actress who wound not want her name published, wondered why it is mostly men that are falling to kidney and organ diseases; adding that it is mostly the men who engage in heavy and irresponsible drinking.
Also an actor in the movie industry, Chika Chukwuka, said it might be difficult to establish a link between these habits and kidney related illnesses except one speaks with a medical expert.
Nollywood actress and politician, Oby Okafor (Lolo), said kidney failure wass a disease people suffer, especially Africans, adding that it’s not only celebrities that fall under the hammer of kidney failure. “ The case of celebrities is that they are stars, whatever that happens to them, people must know,” she said and advised everybody to always go for medical checkup.
Many have said a lot of things concerning this issue. A close friend, Chinwe Obi, who lived at Surulere, observed closely that whenever celebrities gather at Winny’s Hotel, Surulere, one is likely to encounter a good number of actors, popular and unpopular luxuriating with endless bottles of beer and liquors while waiting for meeting and job offer.
Doctor’s angle to causes of kidney failure
Dr Maxwell Ogwa, a medical practitioner with Saviour Foundation Hospital, Achi, Enugu State, said diabetes and high blood pressure ( hypertension) were the most common causes of kidney failure, adding that not everybody with diabetes or high blood pressure will develop kidney failure. “ It is important for those with these condition to be checked regularly to find out if the kidney are affected.
What can be done to reduce cases of kidney failure.
Dr Maxwell Ogwa advises a healthier lifestyle as a way of reducing the risk of chrome kidney disease. These, he said, includes avoiding of self medication, especially analgesics, antibiotics and other pain killers and over the counter (OVT) drugs. “ If you are sick, go to the hospital and get tested. That is the only way to know what you are suffering, but for some people, once they have a fever,or headache , they conclude its malaria and they go to the local chemist down the street and buy drugs which they take, adding that taking drugs without prescription, especially for a prolonged period can lead to kidney damage. He also advised moderation of alcohol, smoking and use of herbal medicines that has not been chemically tested to be safe for use , stressing the need for people to maintain a healthy weight to avoid diabetes and high-blood pressure, eating healthy and regular exercise.