Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nabdam Constituency in the Upper East Region, has emphasized the need for Haemodialysis Centres to be established across the country for easy access to patients.
He said there were about 52,400 patients across the country with renal failure, and out of the number, only 1200 reported to health facilities for dialysis, ‘And this is because of the problem of accessibility and affordability.’
He said the average cost of dialysis treatment was about GH?2000.00 per week if patients followed the instructions and went for three or four sessions.
Dr Nawaane said this when he presented a cheque for GH?5000.00 to management of the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga as his contribution to establish a Haemodialysis Centre for the Region.
The idea to establish the Centre, estimated to cost GH?800,000.00 was mooted by Mr Ayamga Ayariga, a Critical Care Nurse in the Hospital, and championed by Dr Emmanuel Akatibo, a Physician Specialist.
urgent need for the Centre, management, and staff of the Hospital, in collaboration with stakeholders, launched a campaign for funds to construct the Centre for the Region.
The Hospital, a major referral centre for the Region, receives cases from parts of Burkina Faso, Upper West and North East Regions without a Haemodialysis Centre.
Patients in need of haemodialysis services in the Region travelled to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Region, and other facilities outside the Region for such services.
Dr Nawaane said the Upper East Caucus in Parliament received information about the initiative to establish a Centre for the Region and decided that individual MPs should make donations towards its establishment.
He said ‘During our budget debate, in the documents, the government said that it was establishing a Kidney Transplant Division at Korle-Bu. It is a clever idea, but I think now, what we really need is how to make dialysis affordable to the patients such that we can have these 52,400
people coming out for it.
‘They are not coming because they know they cannot even pay, and so they do not even follow up for them to be diagnosed and for dialysis to be recommended. If patients cannot afford dialysis, how can they afford kidney transplantation,’ Dr Nawaane quizzed.
‘We do not even have the law that will guide us in the organ harvest. The law is not in place yet. They have not brought the bill to Parliament for us to look at it.
‘Even if we spend the money to establish a Kidney Centre instead of establishing dialysis centres and the law is not there, you cannot harvest anybody’s organ without the law to use it on another person,’ he said.
Dr Nawaane called on government to assist hospitals like the Regional Hospital to establish and get dialysis centres to work, ‘I am not saying that we should leave everything on government, but we must prioritize what we are doing.
‘If there is money, let us use it first for such purposes before we go to the Kidney Transplant which is another stage all t
ogether,’ he advised.
Dr Aiden Suntaa Saanwei, the Medical Director of the Hospital, who received the cheque on behalf of management and staff of the hospital, thanked the MP for the gesture.
He said the hospital required support to establish the Centre, adding that ‘We are targeting that by the close of this year, we should be able to commission the Centre and the first patient should go through the sessions of dialysis.’
Source: Ghana News Agency