Kidney Cases Alarming

Doctors in the county are alarmed at the increasing spate of kidney-related cases among the youth with the Renal Unit of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) recording 3,281 cases in 2010. The figure according to health experts was a 38 percent increase over 2009. Most patients with chronic kidney disease are young economically active Ghanaians aged between 20 and 50 years. Unfortunately, statistically only a few people were able to afford treatment for the disease; others who cannot end up dying. According to research, 10 percent of all deaths at the medical wards of the KBTH which is the only hospital in the country with unit are due to chronic kidney disease. In view of this, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and its subsidiary, the Christian Community Microfinance Limited (CCML) in association with the 37 Military Hospital, Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, embarked on its first project dubbed ‘Save a Cedi to Save a Kidney.’ The project which was launched in Accra at the Holiday Inn Hotel recently seeks to build and stock an ultra-modern renal center at the 37 Military Hospital to help aid the rising incidence of kidney malfunction in the country. The ‘Save a Cedi to Save a Kidney’ project which expects the public to text ‘Kidney’ to short code 1962 across all networks, began on December 15 and will end on December 15 2012. Speaking at the launch, Albert W.S. Essamuah, Chairman of CCML said the charity project sought to solicit funds from corporate bodies and individuals through various activities and events to help reduce pressure on the facilities at the KBTH. He said it would also enable patients suffering from kidney-related illnesses access quality health care. “The Christian Council of Ghana has initiated a project to acquire a dialysis machine and set up a renal centre for the 37 Military Hospital,” he said. Mr. Essamuah said beyond seasonal appeals, they sought to develop a robust society where the health and education of the people becomes a principal focus of governments. According to him, a healthy and well educated people were essential for any type of development. General Secretary of CCG, Rev. Fred Deegbe, said the challenge faced globally was that in the midst of all the wealth and prosperity, there were still a lot of people in dire need of basic necessities to survive. “Any help towards alleviating the pain and humiliation of such people would surely be an effort in the right direction. It would be a good thing for people and a moral booster to their caregivers who sometimes look on helplessly for their patients to die not because they don’t know what to do but because they don’t have tools for effective interventions,” he said. Rev. Deegbe noted that CCG in fulfilling its mission and values was committed not only to building schools, hospitals, agricultural stations and other social interventions for the benefit of humankind, but also has taken on the challenge of offering solutions to various health problems in Ghana. Lt. Col. Sunny Mantey, a urology specialist at the 37 Military Hospital in his speech, noted that the high traffic of patients with kidney-related diseases who report at the hospital daily was becoming alarming. “Only 40 out of the 80 patients who report at 37 on daily basis get access to treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital due to lack of funds or the unavailability of facilities,” he noted. He said though plans were far advanced to put up a renal unit at the hospital, it could not come to fruition as scheduled. He therefore called on the public to support the life-saving project and also commended the stakeholders for the initiative.