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RENEF Foundation launches project to screen 50,000 Ghanaians on kidney-related conditions

Reproductive Needs and Fitness Foundation (RENEF Foundation), an NGO has launched a nationwide outreach project to provide free kidney screening for Ghanaians to know their various kidney-related conditions.

On the theme, ‘Reigniting the Know Your Status on HIV, Substance Abuse Linked to Kidney Diseases,’ the project, according to Miss Abigail Antwi-Baafi, the Executive Director of RENEF, a Sunyani-based health promotion organisation targeted to benefit more than 50,000 Ghanaians.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Sunyani on Tuesday, Ms Antwi-Baafi expressed concern about the alarming prevalence of kidney disease in the country which was hovering around 13.3 per cent.

She said though there was weak evidence in the country, it was believed that the rampant use of herbal medicines or substance abuse might account for the significantly increased incidence of chronic kidney disease among the younger population.

Ms Antwi-Baafi called on all stakeholders, including the Ghana Health Service, the Food an
d Drugs Authority of the Ghana Education Service and other relevant state and non-state actors to support the project to achieve desirable outcomes.

‘Kidney is one of the top five causes of deaths at the medical ward of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital,’ Mr Atta Akoto Senior, an Executive of the Foundation stated, and attributed the high mortality rate to poor socio-economic status of patients.

‘Most patients requiring dialysis services cannot afford it as management is not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme and patients have to pay out of pocket. For those who can afford care, there is even unequal distribution of hemodialysis service,’ he stated.

Mr Akoto Snr. indicated the 2017 Renal Registry Data showed that there were 686 patients with end stage kidney disease on renal replacement therapy with the majority (96.4 per cent) on dialysis.

There were only 24 patients who have had transplantation, he added, and expressed the hope that the project’s implementation would greatly help to bring the
situation under control.

Dr Kofi Amo-Kodieh, the Bono Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, lauded the project, commended the implementers and their partners, and called on everybody to support and make it successful.

Madam Oscar Anita Akotey, Principal Regulatory Officer at the Bono Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), said several kidney diseases had been linked to excessive use and misuse of certain substances, including alcohol, tobacco products, drugs, cosmetics, and some harmful food ingredients.

‘All of these have direct and indirect effects that can negatively impact kidney functioning,’ she stated, and advised everybody to be mindful and avoid careless use of certain food ingredients, drugs, and cosmetic products.

Hundreds of residents, including students, market women, public sector and health workers and children underwent the screening exercise, led by some health officials at the launch.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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