To cater for the needs of low income and poor kidney disease patients, who are uninsured and have little or no means of affording high cost dialysis treatments, three sisters- Jumoke Ojomo,Folawe Ojomo and Kunbi Ojomo, polled their personal funds to set up the JFK Dialysis Centre in Lagos. Precious Ugwuzor reports that at the centre, there is no consideration of profit as the philosophy of ploughing back resources for continuous and lean operation is paramount
Today, March 10, on the occasion of World Kidney Day, the contributions of three sisters –Jumoke Ojomo,Folawe Ojomo and Kunbi Ojomo, come to the fore. Coincidentally, this recognition fell into the commemoration of the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD).
World kidney Day is being celebrated worldwide to draw awareness to the deadly kidney disease. In 2016, these three sisters thought about giving something back to the community.
They came up with the idea of setting up a dialysis centre in Lagos to cater for the needs of low income and poor kidney disease patients, who are uninsured and have little or no means of affording high cost dialysis treatments.
To actualise this project, they put together their personal funds to the tune of over N60millionto secure a property, buy dialysis machines and equip the centre with state of the art facilities.
Today, JFK DIALYSIS CENTRE, whose name is derived from first initials of their first names – “J “for Jumoke,”F” for Folawe and “K” for Kunbi, has grown to become one of the well managed, front line and sustainable dialysis centres within the Lagos metropolis.
At JFK Dialysis Centre, there is no consideration of profit as the philosophy of ploughing back resources for continuous and lean operation is paramount.
JFK Dialysis Centre is located within the Palmgrove Estate in Lagos. These sisters went a step further to set up a non -governmental organisation (NGO) called Global Assistance for Healthy Kidney Initiative (GAHKI), whose mission is to promote global awareness of the plight of people suffering from Kidney disease, a silent killer, ravaging the population.
GAHKI subsidises the cost of treatment for indigent patients who cannot afford three dialysis sessions in a week. The average cost of dialysis is equivalent to $900-$1000 in US dollars per month.
If clients on dialysis do not have the financial and social support, it is very difficult to get the required treatment, making such clients more sick, unable to work, and eventually terminated from work because of tardiness and extensive absenteeism, continuing the vicious cycle of poverty and noncompliance with treatment.
During the World Kidney Day activities, which comes up on the second Thursday in March of every year, GAHKI organises special enlightenment and screening programs to educate the populace and screen for hypertension and diabetes- the two foremost causes of kidney failure.
In 2018, GHAKI in collaboration with Apollo Hospital in India organised successfully a medical mission which screened more than 500 persons in Lagos whilst providing educative materials to them.
At that medical outreach, a team of 10 nephrologists, doctors and other specialists from India were present.
At other commemoration days, screening and enlightenment programs were organised for different socio-economic groups at other venues –Ojuelegba (for transport workers), and Ojuolowo, Mushin (for market women).
The impact of those programs were tremendous, thus, today on World Kidney Day, the contributions of these ladies are tremendously recognised.
Their tireless passion and dedication to community service is admirable. On program and activities days, these sisters come from wherever they may be to gather in Nigeria to participate fully and demonstrate their desire to help the vulnerable population.
Their impact is commendable. But who are these sisters you might ask? While Jumoke is a successful businesswoman who lives in Lagos; Folawe is a senior pharmacist who works in Maryland, USA and Kunbi is a Clinical nurse manager and stem cell specialist, who works in New Jersey, USA.
Quote “JFK Dialysis Centre, there is no consideration of profit as the philosophy of ploughing back resources for continuous and lean operation is paramount”