How streptococcal infections cause kidney disease in children, by experts

kidneyIn accordance with this year’s theme for the World Kidney Day (WKD), “Kidney Disease and Children; Act Early to Prevent It,” a Consultant Nephrologist at Healing Stripes Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Adewunmi Adebowale, has disclosed that streptococcal organisms inherent in some skin infections and sour throats in children between three and 15 years can lead to kidney disease.

Speaking in Lagos, Adebowale explained that, during the infection, the streptococcal organism inject toxins similar to that of the kidneys, hence the anti bodies mob these similar deadly toxins into the kidneys, which intend causes infections to the organ in the near future.

He continued, saying that is why, mothers must not waste time in reporting any symptoms of such infections on their children to the hospital, because it is unfortunate this streptococcal infections cannot be identified until examined.

Adebowale further pointed out that most of the problems with children and kidney infections also lies in diarrhea and vomiting, as these are the things that makes them loss water, and the inability to replace lost water causes the kidney to shut down.

This can lead to acute kidney infections which is likely to strike in the future in that child, he added.As a kidney expert, he also identified congenital or hereditary problem, obstructions of the urinal valves and severe infections like serious malaria that destroys the red cells as other causes, “as these factors can as well cause the kidney to shut down in children.”

Therefore every signs of fever in children should be taken care of with all seriousness knowing that it can result to secondary problems in them, he noted.

Adebowale told The Guardian in an interview that, the prevalence of kidney disease in the country is fast rising and alarming as about 40 new kidney cases are reported in the Healing Stripes hospital alone on weekly basis.

“The prevalence has followed the pattern of the major causes which are hypertension, diabetes and infections, and the rate of hypertension and diabetes is increasing and so is the rate of kidney diseases,” he lamented.

Asked about a specific general figure in the country, he regretted saying, “unfortunately in Nigeria, we do not have data to be able to give specific figures, but each center have their own data, but those data are not really 100 per cent reliable because they are hospital base data, more so some do not even report to the hospital.”

Also speaking with the Managing Director of the hospital, Dr. Ezinne Onyemere cited the instance of a six-year-old daughter of one of her patient that was found to have a polycystic kidney, which is hereditary.

She went further to explain that, the father who is presently on dialyses was found to have gotten his chronic kidney condition from the same polycystic kidney, the reason people need to ask and check their family background as well to prevent this deadly disease. She explained polycystic kidneys to be lots of cysts developing around the kidneys, which causes damage to it later in life.

Relatively, Onyemere told our correspondent that, dehydration can cause acute kidney injuries, which after a long pile up can cause kidney diseases in the future, so that is why we encourage children to drink lots of water to help the kidneys flush waste easily.

She disclosed that the hospital gave 30 free dialyses sponsored by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David to its patients in commemoration of the WKD.

Onyemere appealed to parents not to hesitate to report any symptoms and complain of any sort in their children to a paediatrician, especially abdominal pains.

Adebowale, who noted that most patients report with end stage kidney failures, admonished Nigerians to refrain from indiscriminate use of drugs and painkillers, saying several kidneys have been damaged as a result.

He also advised people to maintain moderate weights and not be obese, abstain from alcohol; smoking, high intake of salt sugar and cholesterol as it has been found out all these can affect the kidneys.Good nutrition and regular exercise can be the cheapest way to stay healthy, he said.

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