Monday, January 19, 2015


Late Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe had been battling with renal failure but kept it away from friends and colleagues. Muna needed millions for his health problems, but instead of seeking for funds from the public, he told his friends that he was planning a stage play to raise money.

These days, it is quite common to find on TV, radio and internet sites, people seeking for funds, always in the millions, to save Nigerians with renal failure who need to go for an organ transplantation like that of music producer and singer, OJB Jezreel, who needed about N16M for a kidney transplant.

Renal failure, sometimes called kidney failure or renal insufficiency is a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter waste products from the blood. It could be acute renal failure which is quite reversible if proper treatment is administered or Chronic kidney disease (CKD)  which is the long term consequence of irreversible acute disease or part of a disease progression. Renal failure ranks high among killer illnesses in Nigeria, but unlike malaria and HIV/AIDS, it is often ignored. In the past, kidney issues were considered as exclusive disease of the aged, particularly in Nigeria. Today, more Nigerians, children inclusive, are coming down with the ailment.

Some of the signs and symptoms are: Vomiting , Weight loss, frequent urination, blood in the urine, bone damage, muscle cramps, muscle paralysis, swelling of the legs, face and/or hands, shortness of breath, pain in the back or side, feeling tired and/or weak, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, Low blood pressure.

Possible causes of the disease are: Hypertension, Diabetes, Long-term ingestion of herbal concotions/preparations, Abuse of pain killers, aspirins and Ibuprofen, Smoking, High salt intake, Abuse of hard drugs and alchohol, Urinary tract infections, Abnormal blood flow to and from the kidney due to obstruction of the renal artery, Low blood volume due to blood loss, Adverse medications that are toxic to the kidney, High blood pressure, Prostrate problems. 
This is a deadly disease silently ravaging our country and because of its high cost of treatment, dialysis and transplant, managing the disease out of the reach of the 'poor'. According to reports, patients pay as high as N150, 000 for three sessions of dialysis every week and about N5 million annually; costs of transplant varies from hospitals but ranges between N4m and about N8m and a patient needs about N150, 000 monthly to get immuno-suppressive drugs after a successful transplant (Nathan Foundation)

Veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa was bed-ridden for months, hospitalised here and in India, where he finally had a transplant, before passing on at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, India,  in 2012.
There are notable people who have had successful transplant, like actress Ngozi Nwosu, former Inspiration FM Presenter Chaz B, Rhythm Fm’s Meka Akerejola.

Who knows whether Muna Obiekwe would have survived like these ones if attention was drawn to his ailment and help was called for.

RIP Muna.


1 comment:

  1. What exactly killed Muna Obiekwe? If it kidney failure as claimed, what caused the kidney failure? Could it be HIV? Lately we have seen too many cases of HIV death blamed on kidney failure. We should stop deceiving our selves, let's stop calling spade a shovel.