14th March is world kidney day and this year’s celebration theme is; Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney disease from various causes. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) causes at least 2.4 million deaths per year and now the 6th fastest growing cause of death.
Despite the growing burden of kidney, health disparity and inequality are still widespread, Kidney health for everyone everywhere calls for Universal Health Coverage (UHCI) for prevention and early treatment of kidney diseases.
In Ghana, it has been reported that an average of 12,000 Ghanaians are being diagnosed with kidney problems every year.
With an alarming increase of this deadly yet preventable kidney disease, almost half of the number keeps losing their lives.
A visit to the Korle-bu teaching hospital (renal unit) in Accra, confirmed that the cost of treatment on the dialysis machine is too expensive, and that notwithstanding, the machines are not enough at the unit to care for the over thousand patients.
The unit has less than 15 dialysis machines to care for it patients so some have to join queue for hours, sometimes sleep over in mosquitoes just to be dialyzed.
Dr. Mensah Amoah, a Physician Specialist and Nephrologist fellow at the Korle-bu teaching hospital also added that, kidney patients in Ghana need help because the treatment is expensive.
He added that, the other option is to have a kidney transplant which is far expensive compared to the dialysis.
He advised Ghanaians to be mindful of the amount of Salt and sugar intake, reduce the intake of alcohol and smoking, have regular medical checkups, frequent exercise and adopt other healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Mensah Amoah also made a passionate appeal to the President and Corporate Ghana to consider building an ultra modern facility, to be used to care for the increasing number of Kidney patients.