Attitudinal change is vital for desired kidney transplant results

Dr Vincent Ganu, Public Health Physician at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, has said attitudinal change is necessary for successful kidney transplant programme in sub-Saharan countries.

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Kidney

He said the region is marked by deep seated traditional, cultural and religious belief systems.

Dr Ganu was speaking in Accra, during a presentation at the opening of a two-day Health Conference, organised by Lancaster University Ghana on the topic: “Kidney transplantation in Sub-Saharan Africa-is the public ready?”

The conference on the theme: “Current and Future Challenges for Medical Management in West Africa,” is to provide a platform for exchange of ideas, insights, experiences and research findings among health academics, industry and policy makers in Ghana.

He said millions die annually from untreated kidney failure due to lack of access to affordable treatment and over two million people worldwide receive treatment with dialysis.

He said a preliminary research conducted in five communities in Great Accra with 100 consenting adult participants per community revealed that 64 per cent were willing to donate to strangers with as many as 71 per cent willing to donate after death.

Dr Ganu said that the study also found out that a majority of Ghanaians have positive attitudes towards kidney transplantation, and less than 50 per cent were willing to donate a kidney.

He said those refusing to donate attributed this to poor health status, loss of body part, religious beliefs and cultural practices, as well as, mistrust of health professionals.

He said it is time to start harnessing the ideas and resources to possibly institute a kidney transplantation programme in Ghana.

“This is cheaper at the long run,” he added.

Professor John Grainger, Provost of Lancaster University, Ghana said the country is now the home of the University and it is committed to offer the highest quality education.

He said conference was to bring together leading academics, policy makers, clinicians, practitioners and students from the UK and West Africa, with the view to assess current and future challenges for medical management in West Africa.

He said the event would mark a major transition for the University and its students, since management would also be moving towards the completion of their new campus building with addition of health science, engineering and other science programmes.

He said currently Lancaster University is providing 18 months health management programme for 24 hospitals CEOs in Gauteng.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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