A major medical breakthrough has been recorded in the nation’s capital, Abuja, as a team of Nigerian doctors have successfully carried out a kidney transplant operation on a 20-year-old patient, Gabriel Onogu.
The landmark operation took place last Friday at Viewpoint Hospital in Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja by a team of surgeons led by Mr. Elijah Maina and his partner, Prof. Hakeem. Three more patients are on the list for transplant which the hospital believes will also be successful.
Maina, a consultant, trauma-vascular and general surgeon, had worked in the UK before he came back to Nigeria.
He initially worked with the State House Clinic and National Hospital, Abuja but is now working with various hospitals in Abuja.
Viewpoint Medical Director, Dr. Hauwa’u Bello Gambari described the successful operation as a remarkable feat and major breakthrough and expressed optimism over the three remaining patients.
Giving insight into the transplant, Gambari said the lucky patient is doing well and even started “making” urine on the operating table. She said Onogu has been out of school because he was on dialysis. The young man’s condition has been a huge burden on his family since his father is late.
“He should be getting dialysis three times a week but because his father is late, his mother is an unemployed widow and his brother Stephen Onogu, the donor, is also an unemployed graduate. They couldn’t even pay for the dialysis and for this reason, he was having his dialysis once in a week which wasn’t good for him,” said Dr. Gambari.
She said getting a donor is not a problem but at the same time not easy since the organ has to be compatible with the patient
“One cannot just request for another’s kidney. Even when there is a donor, the kidney has to be screened for compatibility. Drugs have to be given that will prevent rejection for life. Chances of succeeding are higher if the compatibility supersedes”, she explained.
She said the hospital will embark on the next surgery by January next year and called on people suffering from the ailment to come out and solicit for help. She also stressed that the operation can be done in any government hospital, depending on the government’s commitment.
“Whoever has the disease should not cover it up and die in silence, they should come out and for those that have the means, they should support them even by paying for their dialysis,” she stated.
Gambari said the other patients on the line will have their transplant after they get the right donor and after necessary tests have been done
The lucky patient, Gabriel Onogu, told our reporter that he is happy over his treatment and was proud to be the first to benefit in the first transplant in the hospital.
“I thank the kidney foundation and my brother who donated his kidney for me. Also I thank the doctors that performed the operation. Due to my health, I couldn’t pursue my admission further since I had to be on dialysis every week, but by the grace of God, I should be back in school next year”, he said.