A report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has revealed the alarming rate of kidney disease in Gashua town, Yobe state.
The ICIR’s report stated that no less than 150 deaths are recorded annually among residents of Gashua town and environs. It noted that the data was gotten from health officials in the town, and was corroborated by the Chief Imam of Bade Emirate, Umar Abubakar, under which Gashua falls. The ICIR said that health officials in the town reported diagnosing around 30 new cases monthly, and at times up to 50, depending on the number of people who come to the hospital.
What’s the cause?
According to the report, the disease is widespread because of unhealthy foods being consumed by residents. The Head of Chemical Pathology Unit, Specialist Hospital, Gashau, Anwali Ahmad, disclosed to the ICIR that many residents die of chronic kidney failures which result from the chemicals used in preserving their foods. He also noted the use of banned herbicides on crops, by farmers in the town.
What are the authorities doing about it?
Ahmad said that the State Specialist Hospital in the state capital, Damaturu, offered free dialysis. He added that Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who is from the town, was planning to establish a dialysis center in the community. Stating that the disease is affecting all age categories, from 11 years upwards, Ahmad said joint research by the Specialist Hospital and the Federal Medical Centre, Nguru, found that the foods consumed by the Gashua people are contaminated with preservatives.
According to him, indigenes of Gashua produce some of the chemicals used to preserve the foods, which results in permanent kidney failures in residents. While noting that the local government conducts raids on the facilities where the chemicals are made, Ahmad lamented that affected residents often stay at home using a local medication, which worsens the damage to their kidneys in a short time.