Spectrum of kidney diseases in Africa: malaria, schistosomiasis, sickle cell disease, and toxins

Fatiu A Arogundade, Muzamil O Hassan, Bolanle A Omotoso, Stephen O Oguntola, Oluyomi O Okunola, Abubakr A Sanusi, Adewale Akinsola
Clinical Nephrology 2016, 86 (2016) (13): 53-60
Kidney diseases have assumed epidemic proportions in both developed and developing countries, particularly chronic kidney disease (CKD). While treatment modalities are available and accessible in developed economies with improvement in outcomes, survival, and quality of life, they are either unavailable or inaccessible in nations with emerging economies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with an attendant worsening outcome and survival for CKD patients. The epidemiology of CKD in SSA has revealed that it preferentially affects adults in their economically productive years, usually below the age of 50 years, with consequent drain on the economy. This derives mainly from the major etiologies in the region, which are infection-induced chronic glomerulonephritis and hypertension, compounded by poverty as well as societal and health underdevelopment, poor resource allocation to health, and underdeveloped health infrastructures. This has made preventive nephrology a major goal in the sub-region, although those who have already developed CKD must be managed up to tertiary levels. In this review, we assessed the contributions of parasitic diseases (i.e., malaria and schistosomiasis), sickle cell disease and nephrotoxins with the aim of espousing their contributions to the burden of kidney disease, and proposing management options with the goal of ultimately reducing the burden of kidney disease in these disadvantaged populations.

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