Cape Coast, March 13, GNA – Dr. Daniel Asare, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, has advocated the setting up of a Kidney Foundation to help absorb part of the high cost borne by kidney patients in dialysis and treatment.
He said if such a foundation was set up, it would somehow meet chronic kidney patients halfway in the treatment cost just like the Heart Foundation at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra does.
Dr. Asare, who was speaking at the climax of this year’s World Kidney Day celebration at the CCTH, on the theme ‘Kidney Health for All,’ said the cost involved in treating kidney cases was worrying, and compelling some patients to opt for death since they could not afford it.
‘Acute chronic kidney patients need about 1,000 Ghana cedis weekly for three sessions at the hospital for dialysis and treatment,’ he said.
This amount, he said, was on the higher side since most patients could not pay and rather abandoned the dialysis and treatment sessions.
Dr Asare said those who could afford it somehow opted for the dialysis, leaving the treatment which was equally dangerous since dialysis without treatment resulted in anaemia and other complications.
Dr Asare said there were no kidney transplantation centres in the country and called for a legal framework to guide the transplantation of kidney, heart, sperms and other vital organs.
He also decried the absence of kidney transplant surgeons in Ghana, appealing to the government, as a matter of urgency, to engineer the training of at least two surgeons yearly to position the country for the setting up of the Kidney Foundation.
Dr. Asare called for the opening of more dialysis centres to make dialysis and treatment of chronic kidney disease cheaper and more affordable.
Dr. Yaw Asante Awuku, the Head of the Renal Unit at the Hospital, said the celebration worldwide and in Ghana was to raise awareness about the kidney disease, encourage preventive behaviours and to emphasize systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for chronic kidney disease.
It was also to educate medical professionals about their role in detecting and reducing the risk of kidney disease, stress the role of local and national health authorities in controlling the kidney disease epidemic and above all encouraging transplantation as a best outcome for kidney failure and organ donation as a life-saving initiative.
He said since the Renal Unit was established in 2014, over 1,000 dialysis sessions had been given with 10 dialysis machines and currently 27 kidney clients were undergoing dialysis at the Unit.
Mr Thomas Vincent Cann, a journalist who had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and is receiving dialysis and treatment at the same facility, passionately appealed to the government to consider subsidizing the cost of kidney treatment in the country.
He said since he was diagnosed with the disease some few years ago, he had spent a fortune on dialysis and treatment.
Mr. Cann, who had now become an ambassador for the disease, said he also found it difficult to canvas awareness campaign in the region because he lacked resources and financial support.
He pleaded with the public, organizations and donor agencies to come to the aid of kidney patients.
The celebration was followed by an appeal for funds to support the Unit and the patients, with the dialysis centre opened to the public and screening for participants.
World Kidney Day is celebrated worldwide on the second Thursday of March each year, bringing together millions of people in over 150 countries, and uniting them to produce a powerful voice for kidney health awareness.
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