The Ghana Kidney Association, the country’s largest professional organization dedicated to promoting kidney health through education on kidney disease prevention and treatment, is pleading with the general population to prioritize kidney health by leading a healthy lifestyle.
This entails carefully controlling risk factors like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and refraining from abusing drugs like painkillers and herbal remedies.
The organisation stressed the significance of early hospital notification for those with renal disease in a statement issued by its president, Prof. Sampson Antwi. Prompt medical intervention can greatly slow down the progression of the condition.
The association expressed worry over recent coverage of dialysis-related concerns and provided the assurance that they are actively collaborating with partners to solve the accessibility and cost of dialysis for the general population. The public will be informed as soon as possible of the results of these engagements.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is being urged by the World Health Organization (WHO) to widen its benefits package to include critical illnesses, notably kidney ailments, in an effort to lessen the cost of dialysis.
In view of the recent uproar over rising dialysis costs at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Francis Chisaka Kasolo, the WHO Country Director, emphasized that expanding coverage to include renal therapy services will aid patients who are struggling financially.
Speaking to reporters at a gathering in Accra, Dr. Kasolo emphasized the need for a thorough examination of the NHIS activities.
He stated, “If our health insurance is strong, it can mitigate the cost of renal treatment services if it is included in the benefits package. This would have mitigated the out-of-pocket expenditures that we are beginning to see increase, and if that works, then we would have solved part of the problem of increasing out-of-pocket expenditure that we see with the dialysis cost.”
In his opinion, the NHIS can potentially lessen the financial burden on patients by including renal treatment services in the benefits package, providing a workable answer to the rising out-of-pocket expenses related to dialysis charges.