Health they say is wealth, people with sound health may not appreciate the wonderful thing God is doing in their lives.
A visit to Nigerian hospitals will no doubt give one cause and confidence to always be thankful to God for good health. But then, those with difficult health challenges which require huge sums of money also need the financial help of every Nigerian, especially in an era when government alone can’t attend to the needs of everyone. Philanthropists, corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations with the milk of human kindness can equally offer succour.
That there are needy ones is evident by the number of persons we see genuinely soliciting for public sympathy. We see Nigerians soliciting for help on television, radio and pleading with public spirited persons and organisations through newspapers and other channels of communication for one form of financial assistance or the other for medical trip to India, Europe and other places. Usually, the problem is kidney or liver transplant, brain tumour, cancer and other devastating ailments.
The problem becomes complicated when the needy is a poor person or someone from an average family who cannot afford to raise the needed sum to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Even the government recognises the inevitability of seeking alternative means of raising money required for such foreign medical tourism. Most times, some of these people do not get the needed finance to carry out the transplant and they end up dying, leaving their families to suffer even more.
To the family of 47-year old Abdulkarim Rafiu, this is not be a good time based on the fact that Rafiu, a father and husband is currently down with kidney problem and undergoing dialysis at the Gbagada General Hospital pending when it would be possible to carry out a kidney transplant.
However, effecting the kidney transplant is not the issue. The situation is compounded, as the cost of carrying out transplant is well beyond the reach of Rafiu. It is simply not affordable even to a wealthy family not to talk about an average one that cannot afford to raise between N8 million to N10 million to embark on medical treatment in India or even in the country if there are such facilities.
Sequel to the above, his family is appealing to well meaning Nigerians, Lagos State Government and corporate entities to help save a life. The family said it relies on the assistance of the public to save his life.
According to a medical report signed by Dr Ngozi Aikpokpo of Gbagada General Hospital and made available to Friday Magazine, the case of Mr Abdulkarim was reviewed in April 2015 when he was brought for hermodialysis.
According to the doctor’s report, the cause of the renal failure was long standing hypertension.
“Since then he has remained dialysis dependent and that has been a huge financial strain on him and his family. He was admitted last week in another facility as a result of fluid in his lungs with consequent inability to breath. This is as a result of inadequate dialysis.
“I have counselled the patient that a kidney transplant is the best option for him if he must regain health and live a normal life subsequently. Much as he is willing to undergo the transplant, he, however, needs fund for the exercise and subsequent medication. He needs to be stabilised before the transplant, but this is hard to achieve because of worries over how and where to raise money,” the doctor said.
According to the doctor, Rafiu’s medical report indicates that “the cost of dialysis is N25,000 per session and he needs three sessions per week. He also needs erythropoietin injection twice weekly. He should be stable and fit for surgery after two to three months of standard care.
“He can be considered for kidney transplant. For that he requires a donor who must be a first degree relative or his spouse. The donation must be altruistic. Both the donor and patient (recipient) will be screened to ensure fitness for surgery and compatibility. The cost of this screening is approximately N600, 000, the transplant itself cost N5 million.
“He would also need post transplant anti-rejection drugs which he would require for life. This is estimated at N1.5 million per annum. It is recommended that he provides funds for a year treatment,” the doctor said and pleaded with public spirited persons and organisations to come to the rescue of the sick man.
The breakdown or summary of the cost implication for the patient’s complete care includes dialysis, N75,000 weekly, N300, 000 monthly with a total of N900,000 in three months, erythropoietin, N36,000 weekly, N134,400 for the first month and N268,800 for three months, pre transplant screening N600,000. Others include the transplant itself, N5 million, post transplant drugs N1,500, 000 for the first one year, with the total coming being N8,268, 000.00.
The family has been struggling to foot the bill for the dialysis and other medications and cannot afford the cost of the transplant.
It is against this background that the family is soliciting for the help of Nigerians, the Lagos State Government, corporate organisations and others to keep their father, husband, brother and uncle alive by helping to raise fund for the transplant whose cost is far above the family who has been struggling for the dialysis.
“Well spirited Nigerians are enjoined to donate to save Mr Rafiu. Donations can be sent to Rafiu Kareem on account number 0005616843, Diamond Bank or Account name Rafiu Kareem on Access Bank Account no 0691835541 or contact the family on 07019260145 or 08137682623 or at 20 Ogunbowale street, Ilasamaja, Mushin, Lagos, or contact the doctor on 08026230606.
Help Rafiu to live a normal life, save his children from this difficult health problem that their father is going through and also save the wife from the ordeal of becoming a widow at a young age. We all have a role to play in this, do your own and God will do the rest.
Friday Magazine recalls that it is situations like this that may have been the reason why government urged sincere and sympathetic Nigerians to always identify with humanitarian causes by setting up agencies with the facilities to render help when necessary.
Bello Umar, an Abuja resident, feels that government at all levels should have a health fund that can take care of ailments such as kidney transplant, liver problems, brain tumour and other high profile diseases.
“Because of the huge amount involved in most of these cases, it is advisable for the federal, state and local government to have a special medical fund. Nigerians are dying on a daily basis because of these health challenges and the authorities are not doing much in the provision of social medical facilities. Let the government do its best to save poor people who cannot afford to handle situations like this,” he said, noting that such assistance is rendered even in countries where their economy is in a better shape.
In developed countries, one hardly sees people begging to live in their own country because of one terrible ailment or the other that can be cured. The cost of medication is not too high nor are people allowed to suffer and die.
“There is a saying that when a corpse of an unknown person is carried for burial, to some others, it is just like a log being moved about, because we are not affected and concerned.
The more our government begins to live up to its responsibilities in providing good and affordable healthcare for citizens, the better for the country,” James Maku said.
“Let it be that the cost of treatment is not the problem, but here the cost of healing is always the problem. People die as a result of simple ailments that can be treated even at health centres, but because there is no money, they are abandoned to their fate. This is why many Nigerians are not patriotic,” Umar said.

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