Management and staff of the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, in collaboration with stakeholders have launched a campaign for funds to construct a Haemodialysis Centre for the Region.
The Hospital, which is the major referral centre for the Region, also receives cases from parts of Burkina Faso, Upper West and North East Regions, has no Haemodialysis Centre, and had over the years relied on the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) for Haemodialysis services.
The idea to establish the Centre was mooted by Mr Ayamga Ayariga, a Critical Care Nurse in the Hospital, and championed by Dr Emmanuel Akatibo, a Physician Specialist.
The cost involved in establishing the Centre is estimated at about GHȻ800,000.00
Speaking at the launch, Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister, said “We have chosen for ourselves to raise funds towards the establishment of a 24-hour state-of-the-art Haemodialysis Centre to provide service for clients in the Region.”
He said even though the challenge to have the Centre in the Region was huge, if accomplished, it would be an “Opportunity for us to stop being victims of circumstance.
“It is an opportunity for us as stakeholders in the Region to ensure that Haemodialysis services are provided to persons confronted with renal conditions which for sometime now has become more prevalent than ever.”
Mr Yakubu said “It is unacceptable that in today’s modern Ghana, we still have to travel to TTH and other tertiary health facilities outside the Region for dialysis. This is highly unbearable, avoidable and profoundly unjust.”
He noted that the lack of some medical equipment for management of health conditions in the Region had over the years claimed several lives and hindered the progress and development of individuals and communities in the Region.
The Minister acknowledged Mr Ayariga and Dr Akatibo for their “sense of initiative” and commended management of the Hospital for supporting the idea.
He pledged GHȻ5000.00 towards the project and tasked all 15 Municipalities and District Assemblies to each donate GHȻ5000.00 as seed capital to the fund, while several institutions and individuals at the launch, made various donations to the fund.
Dr Aiden Suntaa Saanwie, the Medical Director of the Hospital, explained that kidneys served as one of the major excretory organs in the body, “So it is the responsibility of the kidneys to get rid of all the toxins produced in the body.
“These toxic substances accumulate in the body if the kidneys fail to get rid of it, it results in injuries to other normal cells, and eventually lead to morbidity and mortality if nothing is done about it,” he said.
He said kidneys could be managed conservatively if they failed, “But in the very advanced stage, there are two current ways of handling it, either by renal transplant or renal dialysis.
“Transplant is offered in Ghana, but is very expensive and not readily available. So we are left with the option of dialysis, which is equally expensive anyway, but if you compare the two devils, you will take the dialysis,” the Medical Director said.
He said with the support of stakeholders in the Region, the Hospital could establish the dialysis Centre to offer services without patients travelling to Tamale on daily basis.
The Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang who chaired the function, said the Region was far from the nation’s capital and often had little or no benefit from projects centred at national level.
“So we as a people need to come up and do things for ourselves. Whilst we are demanding, we must be doing certain things ourselves to let it be known that we are very serious. We as Chiefs will not stop in our course to request from government what we think is due us,” the Chief said.