Over Five million Ghanaians are allegedly said to be suffering from kidney diseases.
Management of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has expressed a great concern about the alarming rise in kidney-related diseases, disclosing that 17% of the Ghanaian population is suffering from kidney problems.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, about 700 kidney patients recorded in their registry were in need of constant dialysis treatment.
Speaking in an interview with Newsmen, Dr Ampomah highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and lifestyle modifications which he said can help kidney patients survive for a longer period.
“In the whole country, the last time the registry was done, we realized that there were about 700 patients who needed renal dialysis consistently around the country. About 17% of the population have kidney problems. This is quite a large number. The average around the African continent is about 15%, but in Ghana, it is around 17%. So, we have 5 million of our population who have some form of kidney challenge. But then, out of that number, if it’s diagnosed early, most of them can be able to survive on lifestyle modifications. Early diagnosis is very important, so screening is very important.”
He stated “God created kidneys with excess capacity, which is why it is possible for somebody to donate a kidney and that person can still remain healthy. A person can survive on one kidney, half of a kidney, or even a quarter of a kidney. If you are a healthy person, half of one kidney is enough to meet your needs,”.
The CEO of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital also blamed the new fees on the cedi rate and inflation, which have eroded the prices of consumables, forcing them to operate at a loss.
He clarified that “This current situation is that the prices were set a few years ago, so the GH¢380 was the cheapest you can get around as compared to other facilities. With exchange rate fluctuation and inflation, this has eroded the value of that, and so we are under recovering, in terms of how much it costs for us to provide the service. So, there was a need for us to adjust the prices so that we can be able to break even. This is a service that we render not for profit, but just to be able to break even and to be able to sustain it.
Explaining why the hospital failed to submit its proposal to Parliament for approval, he criticized the staff at the departmental level of the hospital for ‘prematurely’ putting up the new fees without approval.