Let’s find ways to make kidney care affordable – Gabby Otchere-Darko

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Health Kidney Dialysis
Health Kidney Dialysis

Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Group Chairman of the Asaase Broadcasting Company (ABC), has appealed to the Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to explore avenues to make kidney care services affordable for Ghanaians.

He said the cost of receiving dialysis was “mind-boggling” and appealed to the health authorities to have a “serious look” at the situation and support Ghanaians who could not afford treatment.

Mr Otchere-Darko made the appeal when the Asaase Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the ABC, distributed at least seven dialysis machines to selected health institutions at a ceremony in Accra, on Friday.

“Receiving dialysis in a week is mind boggling if you get it here. Not many Ghanaians can survive the cost of it.
“I plead with the State and in particularly the NHIA; I understand you have limited resources but is there any way we can stretch that to support, even subsidise the cost of receiving dialysis,” Mr Otchere-Darko appealed.
The distribution of the machines, which formed part the Foundation’s Kidney Heath Campaign, also commemorated the three-year anniversary of the Asaase Radio.
The beneficiary hospitals are: the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Enchi Government Hospital, Sogakope District Hospital, Obuasi District Hospital, Volta Regional Hospital, Bono Regional Hospital, and the Upper East Regional Hospital.

Nenyi George Andah, the Chief Executive Officer, ABC, said the distribution of the machines formed part of the company’s commitment to support kidney care in needy and deprived communities.

“The setting up of these dialysis machines shows our dedication to improve healthcare in marginalised communities, transform lives and build inclusive societies,” he said.

Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, said the health insurance scheme currently did not cover chronic kidney cases.

It covers acute kidney disease (short-term due to injury) dialysis with a flat amount of about GHS900.00
He said the Authority would consider adding chronic (lifetime) 9cases to its benefit package if its resources improved.

It costs between GHS500 and GHS500 per one dialysis session.

Chronic patients need three sessions to flush out toxins and excess fluid in their blood.
The kidneys remove extra wastes and fluids from the body.

They also remove the acid produced by the cells in the body and maintain a healthy balance of water, salts and minerals in the blood.

Kidney diseases include simple kidney cysts, infection, kidney stones and polycystic kidney disease.
The main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.

It can also be a genetic condition, caused by repeated urinary tract infections, obstruction by tumors and kidney stones and enlarged prostate.

Certain drugs, infections and injuries are also known to result in acute kidney conditions.

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