From a tender age, I always had an inclination for influencing people; standing in the front porch of my house, I could remember speaking to an imaginary audience. Leadership is the influence a person has on a group of people in pursuit of a common goal and to effect positive change.
I have been privileged to hold appointed and electable positions, each giving me a unique platform to fix a problem.
In 2019, during my clinical rotation in Nephrology unit, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, I had contact with several patients with end stage renal disease, most of which were caused by uncontrolled and long-standing diabetes and/or hypertension; most patients had both. The burden of patients lied with the aged population, averagely 60 - 76 years old, while a few patients were between 36 - 57 years old. This represented a huge burden both to the care givers and the available resources. Treatment for this stage is most preferably a renal transplant (less commonly done because of the financial and donor implications) and most commonly done, haemodialysis.
The recommended sessions for haemodialysis were 3 times per week, unfortunately very few patients could afford two sessions per week in combination with oral medications, a few more could afford one session per week. The largest pool only appearing for dialysis when they were in respiratory distress secondary to pulmonary oedema.
I was deeply concerned by these and I discussed with the Consultant, Professor. Uniugbe. She apparently had a passion for care for the elderly and had recently set up an elderly person's home. We came up with the idea to carry out a medical outreach/awareness, targeting the ageing population. The task was to get information out to gather a good number of the target group, educate them, screen them for diabetes and hypertension and set up a follow up system. A date was fixed for this event, at the elderly person's home, about 100 persons showed up. Together with other medical doctors, a health talk was given to draw attention to these silent killers, risk factors, complications and treatment options. Emphasis was laid on lifestyle modifications, including proper diet, exercise. Random blood sugar, urinalysis, blood pressure measurement was done for everyone so as to categorize them. At the end of the event, we identified those who were already diagnosed with diabetes and/or hypertension, who were also compliant on medications, those who weren't compliant. We identified those with risk factors and those who needed more investigations to confirm their status, a follow up process was established.
A reliant method for solving end stage renal disease would be to set up a program that educates people on the causes, ways of prevention, treatment options; subsidized haemodialysis sessions and most preferably an organ transplant program that would ensure participants get a kidney transplant within 5 years.
I believe that I have the traits, ability and intellect to drive positive change in my country, and the Chevening community would be instrumental in honing my skills in leadership.One essay at a time. Useless thread title = possible suspension.