More Ghanaians are contracting kidney disease

Elliot Koranteng Tannor, a Nephrologist and kidney health advocate has expressed worry at the alarming rate at which Ghanaians, especially “younger people” are contracting kidney disease.

Speaking to Benjamin Offei-Addo on Candid Voice on Sunday, as part of Asaase Radio’s Kidney Care Campaign, Tannor said: “What we are getting is younger people getting kidney disease here in Ghana.”

He added: “And at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, some study we did about 200 or so people, the average age which is also something that has been shown in Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and even most parts of Africa, the average age is normally less than 50 years.

“And for us in Kumasi and for that matter Ghana, it is 47 years less than 50 years. For age, that is actually the worrying aspect, we are getting kidney disease younger, we are getting kidney failure younger than our compatriots in other parts of the world.”

Worrying figures

Tannor said available data shows about four million Ghanaians are currently living with some form of chronic kidney disease.

“In Ghana statistics actually show that 13 out of every 100 people have some form of kidney disease. And indeed, if we are to assume there are 30 million of us, about four million Ghanaians, I should say, have some form of chronic disease and that is worrying aspect.

“The disease itself is not a problem but when the kidney finally fails that is when they will need dialysis and all of that…” he said.

Tannor said currently the number one cause of kidney disease is diabetes, however, most Ghanaians are now getting the disease through other ailments such as hypertension.

He, however, advised Ghanaians to desist from the practice of using herbal medicine to treat kidney related disease.

Meanwhile, Asaase Radio, a Pan-African focused multimedia station, has launched ‘Asaase Kidney Care Campaign’ as part of its first anniversary.

The Accra-based radio station, with affiliates all over the country, marked one-year of operations with a short ceremony attended by members of staff, some members of the Board of Directors and shareholders in mid-June.

The focus of the kidney care campaign was to educate the public on kidney health and raise money for a dialysis machine.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5