The burden of kidney disease raises serious questions about how informed the average Ghanaian is about the condition. Unsure of what the future holds for sufferers of the dreaded condition considering the high cost of treatment and the fact that many people die out of inability to afford treatment, a kidney specialist had taken the bull by the horn to educate the public.
Chronic kidney disease is a major public health problem with increasing incidence and prevalence. Globally it’s estimated that one 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.
In Ghana, 13 out of 100 people have chronic kidney disease that translates to some 4 million Ghanaians. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the causes, symptoms and consequences associated with chronic kidney disease.
Dr Elliot Koranteng Tannor during the launch of his book “how to prevent kidney disease” hinted with passion that “I sometimes feel like I have failed when after all of my training I am unable to save lives.”
Moving a step further to get results after his book launch, the kidney specialist decided to “multiply himself” by training as many as willing by equipping them with knowledge so they can share with as many as they can reach.
On the 6th of February 2021, a total of 126 young and energetic Ghanaian received online training to become volunteers of the Kidney Health International, a non-governmental organization established with the soul aim of preventing kidney disease through massive public education, free screenings for risk factors and further training of health professionals on management of the condition.
on the 13th of February, the volunteers received in person training at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital where they were further briefed about the disease. In all topics that were covered included, volunteerism, communicating kidney health, risk factors of kidney disease, and complications of kidney disease.
Speaking to participants, Dr Koranteng Tannor explained that kidney disease might not show symptoms until it is very late, this meant that one could only know how their kidneys were functioning by checking.
He urged participants to carry this message across, charging them with all they needed to be able ambassadors of healthy kidneys.
The fact that kidney disease wasn’t on the national health insurance and considering the expensive nature of treatment meant that as many as can be educated to prevent the disease had to be reached.
After the training, participants were given a branded T-Shirt and a copy of the book “how to prevent kidney disease”
It is expected that in the month of March, which is month in which the world kidney day is marked, these volunteers will educate as many people as possible about kidney disease.