Miira-cell et al: Why kidney failure will kill you in Nigeria

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
8 min readJul 18, 2021

Kidney failure will kill you in Nigeria. Did you say tufiakwa? Did I hear you say that it is not your portion?

You can say that again.

I could have said that kidney failure may kill you, but I think we have passed that level. It may kill you if you have diabetes and high blood pressure. It may kill you if you live in a developing country like Nigeria with a high prevalence of communicable diseases like bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections. It may kill you if you live in Nigeria with less than 200 nephrologists for a population of over 200 million people. It may kill you if there are already 25 million Nigerians with kidney failure but less than 200 dialysis centers and less than 1000 dialysis machines across the country.

Kidney failure will kill you. Here is why. Besides all the factors listed above that make you prone to kidney failure in Nigeria, there is a new and unexplored one that is likely responsible for the astronomical increase in the number of cases of kidney failures in Nigeria. This new factor is the unregulated explosion of foreign and traditional herbal supplements that have flooded the Nigerian medication market in the absence of a functional, affordable, and reliable healthcare system.

Every month, friends and families send me various names of supplements to buy for them. As the story goes, others had recommended these supplements to them with irrefutable testimonies that they cured one aliment or another. And as the claim goes, most of them cure multiple ailments.

The most recent one that I received was a miracle medicine called Miira-cell. On its packet, it proclaims itself “powerful, effective and curative.” It stated in uppercase letters: “THIS IS A CELLULAR MIRACLE.” I was curious about this so-called “miracle for the cell.”

I did a little Google search. I discovered that the medicine manufacturers were in Malaysia, but one of their major marketers in Nigeria is the Revoobit Health Store. They have a Facebook page and a website. The website just collects your information. The Facebook page provided a phone number to call and register. I watched a YouTube video that Revoobit “brought to you” to promote the “medicine.” Here is the video. https://youtu.be/kOAcdUBQx_4

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Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."