Over 3,000 Ghanaians affected annually with kidney diseases

Dr. Charlotte Osafo, President of the Ghana Kidney Foundation, has indicated that over 3,000 Ghanaians develop chronic kidney disease each year with the majority falling within the youthful age brackets of 20-50 years.

She said the disease is a silent killer since it may not have any symptom until it the damage is done adding, the disease affects around 600 million people worldwide-approximately one in ten people on earth.

Dr. Osafo was addressing a gathering in Tamale on Thursday to mark this year’s World Kidney Day as well as create more awareness on the dreadful nature of the disease and how people could avoid it.

The Tamale Teaching Hospital which was collaborating with the Ghana Kidney Foundation organized free medical screening for about 350 people out of which some were referred to the hospital for further medical diagnosis.

Dr. Osafo, who is also the Head of Renal Unit of Korle-Bu hospital, said when patients reach kidney failure stage, the only means of survival was a lifetime dialysis or kidney transplant which she said was very expensive and therefore many people cannot afford it resulting in their premature death.

She suggested that the best way to reduce the death rate and make treatment affordable to many people was for Government to subsidize the cause of treatment stressing that, corporate bodies could also assist to make the dialysis affordable to many Ghanaians.

She explained that the leading cause of kidney disease worldwide was diabetes while hypertension, infection/inflammation, obesity and pollution could also cause the disease and called on all Ghanaians to get tested through inexpensive urine test for early treatment.

Dr. Osafo indicated that the 2012 World Kidney Day campaign was aimed at increasing public awareness of the necessity of maintaining good kidney health and in the absence of that, she noted that organ donation will help people to survive.

She explained that everyone could survive on one kidney and appealed to love ones to support patients by donating to the National Kidney Foundation to save lives.

The Public Relations Officer of the TTH, Mr. Nii Otu Ankrah, said the hospital currently does not have a dialysis machine and was in a process of acquiring one noting that patients who report to the facility with kidney problems are usually referred to other hospitals.

Source: GNA

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