NBA, Zenith, NOUN, Others Play Charity Cup To Fight Kidney Disease

The Nigerian Bar Association – Abuja Branch (Unity Bar) and Bwari Branch as well as National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and Zenith Medical Hospital are among the eight teams competing in a charity football tournament, aiming to create awareness and raise funds to assist people with chronic kidney disease. 

The tournament, which is tagged ‘Zenkida (Zenith Medical Kidney Disease Awareness) Charity Cup 2024’, is also featuring a leading real estate company (Ardron Home) and television station (Kaftan TV). 

Speaking shortly before kicking off the tournament at the Turf Arena Pitch, Inside Riverplate Park, Abuja, during the weekend, the chief medical director of Zenith Medical and Kidney Center, Dr Olatise Olalekan, described kidney disease as a one of the leading cause of mortalities and its prevalence is on the rising in the world. 

He said the tournament, aimed at raising funds to assist indigent chronic kidney disease patients, will also create awareness for kidney disease prevention. 

“Football is one avenue where we can come together and create awareness for kidney diseases because all over the world the prevalence of kidney diseases is on the rise.. Few years ago, it was the 19th leading cause of mortality in the world, now it is down to 12th and even number 11th. It tells you that it is something that we should take seriously and we know in Nigeria that we do not have good sick behavior, people barely go to the hospital until they are down. 

“So, we hope that this tournament will create the necessary awareness and opportunity to look after those that are down with kidney diseases by raising some funds to assist them, especially those that cannot afford their bills. 

“In all media outfits, both newspapers and electronic, you see or hear everyday one person or the other soliciting for funds to look after a member of the family that is down with kidney disease. So, we are hopeful that we will be able to raise some funds for the indigent patients in the country.  We are not out here to just raise funds but to create awareness on what we should be doing to prevent kidney disease because as a country we don’t even have the resources to look after disease. 

“This football tournament is also a form of exercise, it will help us keep fit and we are hopeful that this competition would not just raise the needed funds for kidney patients, it will be a yearly event as long as our learned colleagues (the lawyers) continue to support us,” Olalekan said. 

The tournament coordinator, Barrister Olujimi Olujide-Poko, said they are using football to create awareness for kidney disease prevention because of its uniting factor. 

“Football is a uniting factor and it was based on this that we decided to use it to create awareness for kidney diseases. Ordinarily, if you called people to come out they wouldn’t come  but look at the turnout here because it is football. Kidney disease is killing people in large numbers and we need to start educating people on the importance of taking care of ourselves

The opening match of the tournament between Unity BAR FC and Zenith Hospital ened in 1-1 draw. .


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