15 March 2019

Tanzania: Minister Warns On Use of Pain Drugs

Dodoma — The public has been reminded to always consult their medical experts before taking anti pain medications because the drugs if used irrationally and excessively could cause kidney complications.

The statement was yesterday made by deputy minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Fasutine Ndugulile, in Dodoma during a press conference intended to send a health message for World Kidney Day.

He said of late, there had been a tendency whereby people were taking anti-pain and other medications without consulting their medics, not knowing the dangers associated with the drugs.

This, he said, had contributed to the rising cases of kidney disease in the country.

Heavy or long-term use of some pain medicines could cause a chronic kidney disease known as chronic interstitial nephritis.

Usually, there are warning labels on over-the-counter pain medicines that tell people not to use them for more than l0 days for pain and more than three days for fever.

Dr Ndugulile said kidney disease was among life-threatening non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that were too expensive to treat.

A patient suffering from kidney failure, he noted, could be treated for up to Sh100million in India or Sh21million locally. NCDs are a leading cause of deaths among adults in Tanzania and chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health threat.

He pointed out details showing that until currently, 42 patients had undergone kidney transplant surgery locally at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma and Muhimbili National Hospital since the first patient underwent the procedure over a year ago.

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