17% of Ghanaians suffering from kidney diseases – Korle-Bu CEO

Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah
Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital CEO Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah

Dr Opoku Ware Ampomah, the Chief Executive Officer of , has raised alarm about the increasing prevalence of kidney-related diseases in Ghana, revealing that approximately 17% of the Ghanaian population is grappling with kidney problems.

He also noted that their registry showed about 700 kidney patients in need of continuous dialysis treatment.

In an interview on Citi TV's “The Point of View,” Dr. Ampomah emphasized the significance of early diagnosis and lifestyle adjustments in extending the lives of kidney patients, stating, “Early diagnosis is very important, so screening is very important.”

Dr Ampomah highlighted the remarkable resilience of kidneys, explaining that they have excess capacity, allowing people to survive and maintain health even with partial kidney function: “God created kidneys with excess capacity, which is why it is possible for somebody to donate a kidney and that person can still remain healthy. A person can survive on one kidney, half of a kidney, or even a quarter of a kidney. If you are a healthy person, half of one kidney is enough to meet your needs.”

Regarding the recent adjustment in dialysis fees at the hospital, Dr Ampomah attributed it to the depreciation of the and inflation, which eroded the value of consumables. He clarified that the price adjustment was necessary to ensure the sustainability of the dialysis service and was not intended for profit.

Dr Ampomah expressed surprise at the premature release of the new fees by departmental staff, indicating that the hospital had not submitted the proposal for approval, stating, “Unfortunately, this time, the departmental level prematurely put up the figures for the public. It didn't come to me. So it came as a surprise. We are still on GH¢380.”

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