‘We lack Kidney Machines In Ghana’- Nephrologist

A Nephrologist and President, Department of Internal Medicine at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr. Isaac Nana Ogyefo has disclosed that no scientist in developing countries has been able to manufacture kidney machine for treating kidney related diseases.

He revealed that the dialysis treatment for patients suffering from kidney failure is very expensive, observing that Ghana and African as a whole lack kidney machines.

Dr. Ogyefo added that the closest dialysis machine that has been invented was by the Whites, saying that cannot even heal kidney patients unless they visit abroad for transplant.

‘What makes the treatment expensive is because we don’t have the machine, there is no machine that has been developed that can function like the kidney you can just walk with to treat kidney related diseases. The closest that has been done is the dialysis machine invented by the Whites, it’s keeps you sitting for nearly 4 hours and its done three times a week,’ he said.

He indicated that there are financial limitations on the part of people as most average patients are not able to afford kidney related medications.

According to him, the average patients spend GHC250 –GHC300 per day, saying patients need to cough GHC9, 000 for treatment per week.

‘It’s quite complex in terms of managing kidney diseases, if patients can afford renal transplant, which is usually not available, otherwise what we tend to do in terms of treatment is give them drugs and injection that help them to urinate. There is a very expensive drug that they need to buy. The average patients need to pay GHC250 to GHC300 thus in all GH9, 000 per week. It’s the limitations on the part of patients and hospital facilities. Most patients especially farmers, traders, can’t afford to go outside for transplant,’ he stated.

Speaking on Ultimate breakfast hosted by Prince Minkah,the Nephrologist urged kidney related patients not to lose hope.

‘The average person you reveal the disease to sound like a death sentence especially in our settings, because of the financial problems, but it should not be so. I don’t even know the number of Doctors who can confidently say they can afford kidney treatment for 15- 20 years, these are group of people touted to be part of workers with highest salaries, how much more the farmer or trader,’ he indicated.

He urged Ghanaians to seek early treatment, blaming Doctors for failure to detect acute diseases.

‘We have to understand the Ghanaian healthcare system, most health care facilities in the country do not routinely run biochemistries which are the urea creatinine commonly used to diagnosis chronic or acute diseases. It’s usually the tertiary facilities which run these laboratory tests. The average Ghanaian when she gets sick may likely visits the clinic nearby and majority are more likely to tackle things own their own,’ he observed.

Dr. Ogyefo encouraged patients to pay doctors to run series of lab tests for early detection of the diseases.

‘Patients must pay doctors to do investigations for them; it’s difficult to detect the symptoms at early stage.  What we tend to pick up are the investigations but it’s expensive, approximately GHC60 for renal function, though the investigations are crucial, that may not be easy for the ordinary Ghanaian to pull it out from his/her pockets,’ he maintained.

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