Two specialists at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East Region have appealed for a haemodialysis centre for the region to help treat kidney related diseases.
The two; Dr Emmanuel Akatibo, a Physician Specialist, and Mr Ayamga Ayariga, a Critical Care Nurse, expressed concern that the hospital, the main referral facility for the region, had no haemodialysis centre.
It receives referral cases from across all 15 municipalities and districts in the region, parts of the North East Region and some communities in Burkina Faso.
Over the years, the hospital had relied on the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) for haemodialysis services.
Dr Akatibo, the lead advocate, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Hospital, said absence of the centre put undue stress and financial burden on patients who needed such services.
“Between March 2022 till now, we recorded a lot of kidney diseases, most of them were end stage renal failure and we lost some of the patients,” he said.
Dr Akatibo explained that end stage renal failure was when the disease had progressed to a stage where the kidneys no longer performed their normal filtration function.
“For those patients, we need to put them on haemodialysis for a long period of time until they are able to arrange for kidney transplant outside the country,” he said.
He said it was recommended that they underwent haemodialysis three times a week for filtration process and, “the cost involved in is huge, aside transportation cost from Bolgatanga to Tamale.”
“At least, if we have a centre here, it would reduce the cost in transportation. Patients would only bear the cost of the dialysis and treatment.”
Even though haemodialysis was expensive, some patients who could afford the treatment had to be referred to the TTH.
He said apart from the haemodialysis machine, several equipment including oxygen plant, defibrillator, dialysis catheters, ultrasound scan machine, and water system would be needed to establish the centre.
He said with support from stakeholders, philanthropists, non-governmental organisations and individuals the vision of getting the centre would be achieved.
A project dubbed: “Haemodialysis Centre for the Upper East Regional Hospital” would be launched soon to raise funds to establish the centre.
Mr Ayariga, on his part, said: “As a specialist nurse, it is very disheartening to see patients die for lack of needed equipment to save them. We have four critical care nurses in the hospital and with Dr Akatibo, it is possible to manage a haemodialysis centre”.
“We seem to have a complete team in terms of the human resources, to manage the centre with the availability of the machine.”
He said the establishment of the centre in the region, though expensive, must be treated with urgency.