The President of the Ghana Kidney Association (GKA), Professor Michael Mante-Kole, has pleaded with the government to come to the aid of kidney disease patients living in Ghana.
Professor Mante-Kole, who was speaking at a public lecture organised by the Ghana Kidney Association in commemoration of World Kidney Day 2018, urged the Ministry of Health to partner his outfit by funding their draft policy, which seeks to bring relief to the uncountable number of kidney disease patients in Ghana who depend on dialysis treatment for survival.
“The Association has developed a draft National Renal Care Policy with the aim of establishing guidelines for a durable and effective guide to the treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease and providing a template for total renal care in Ghana. The draft National Renal Care Policy reviews the sorry state of real care in Ghana and proposes ways of improving it in a holistic manner from prevention of kidney disease to tertiary management with renal replacement therapy,” he revealed.
“It also proposes the inclusion of renal care under the coverage of National Health Insurance Scheme and the provision of a subsidy for dialysis care for patients with End-stage Kidney Disease,” he added.
Professor Mante-Kole further lamented the lack of adequate dialysis units in every nook and cranny of the country, a situation he described as sad.
“Only five regions in Ghana have dialysis units but these should be available in all regions in Ghana. Majority of patients with chronic disease are young patients, aged between 25 and 50 years. An age at which these people should be economically active, looking after their children and wives or husbands and working.”
Further lamenting the ages of patients mainly affected by kidney disease, Professor Mante-Kole called for rapid action to save lives.
“A major source of concern is the fact that a large portion of these patients first consult a specialist when they have reached End-stage Kidney Disease requiring replacement therapy.”
According to him, “aggressive decrease in kidney function, leads to Chronic Kidney Disease, which, as it worsens, leads to ill health and eventually when untreated, leads to death in Africa. Nobody dies from Chronic Kidney Disease in Europe, the US, Canada, Japan or China, except in Africa. Chronic Kidney Disease is common in Ghana with 1 in every 8 adults living with the disease. So one in eight of us sitting here has the disease without knowing because of renal adaptation.”