Ghana Kidney Association has called on the public to be attentive that the early signs of a diseased kidney include hypertension and diabetes and the adherence to early treatment can slow the growth of the disease.
It said the progressive decrease in the function of the kidneys leads to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which as it worsens, would demand a dialysis treatment and a kidney transplantation or it could lead to death.
A release signed by Dr M.O. Mate-Kole, President of the Ghana Kidney Association, said CKD is common in the country with some 13 per cent or one in eight adults having the disease.
It said the incidence and prevalence of CKD has increased in the last few decades and the major causes of kidney failure are hypertension, diabetes and glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).
The release said only five regions in the country have Dialysis Units; and of the 4,000 Ghanaians who need dialysis every year, only 686 individuals were on renal replacement treatment at the end of 2017, hence the need for more of such treatment facilities across the country.
This, it said, is currently our available option as kidney transplants, which is the best treatment for end-stage kidney disease, is not readily available in the country.
The release said a large proportion of these patients (75 per cent – 80 per cent) first consult a specialist (Nephrologist) when they have reached their final stages and require renal replacement therapy for survival.
It said the Ghana Kidney Association has been at the forefront of the management and research into kidney diseases in Ghana. Four other doctors are currently under training and our first graduate Dr Okyere, is now a Specialist Nephrologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi.
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 CKD patients and providing a template for total renal care in Ghana.