Founder and Director of Kidney Health International, Dr. Elliot Koranteng Tannor has called on all stakeholders and people in positions of influence to help advocate for government support for people suffering from kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease has become a major public health problem in Ghana with increasing incidence and prevalence. Globally it’s estimated that 1 out of 10 people have chronic kidney disease. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease is about 14 out of every 100 people in Africa according to a large study, and in Ghana, 13 out of 100 people have chronic kidney disease. This translates to some 4 million Ghanaians.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the causes, symptoms and consequences associated with chronic kidney disease. To help reduce the burden of the disease, Kidney Health International has intensified its educational campaign in the month of March to ensure that all Ghanaians get to know about the disease and how to prevent, it dubbed the ‘Healthy Kidney Month’
Speaking to the TV3 network to mark the World Kidney Day, Dr. Tannor stressed the fact that most people who report with kidney disease, report late with complications. He quoted a study conducted at the Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital to buttress the point that over 70% of the patients with kidney disease report with kidney failure up to 50% of them die on admission due to multiple complications and inability to afford care.
It was on this note that he called on all who were listening who could add their voices to advocate for government support for people suffering from kidney disease to do so.
The treatment for kidney failure is expensive only very few privileged people are able to afford. Many use traditional medications or resort to social media or churches to solicit for support from the public for their treatment. The vast majority of patients with kidney failure even on dialysis cannot afford to come for the required three times a week session of dialysis.
Eventually, very few receive the needed assistance. According to Dr. Tannor, kidney disease is not supported by the National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS. This meant anyone who suffered from the condition had to bear every cost. He therefore entreats all to have a national conversation to prevent the increasing death of young people who would have been the driving force of the economy.