Kidney Transplantation in a Developing Economy: Challenges and Initial Report of Three Cases at Ile-Ife
Background: Kidney Transplantation (KT) is globally adjudged the best alternative treatment for end stage renal disease (ESRD) in preference to life-long dialysis. This form of therapy was hitherto unavailable in Nigeria until our hospital and a private hospital embarked on KT programme in the face of our depressed economy with inadequate facilities. We present initial report of KT performed in our hospital and the challenges of KT in our developing society. Cases Report: Three patients with ESRD had living related KT between June 2002 and April 2003. The first patient died with functioning graft 6½ months post-transplantation from complications of diabetes mellitus and sepsis, while the remaining two still enjoys good quality of life 35 months post-transplantation. There were problems with procurement and monitoring of immunosuppressive drugs in the three patients. This report also illustrates common causes of ESRD in Nigerian and some of the complications of KT. To our knowledge, this is the first reported cases of KT in Nigeria. Conclusion: Kidney transplantation is cost effective and offers good quality of life for ESRD patients. Poverty, inadequate facilities and lack of donors are major problems facing KT in our society. Although KT requires high technical and material resources, with proper training, commitment and adequate funding, it is feasible, safe and cheaper on a long term basis for the management of patients with ESRD in a developing economy like ours. There is a need of government funding of KT program in developing countries.