The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) seeks to become the centre of excellence in tertiary health care delivery, including nephrological services, in Ghana. Given this broader institutional goal, the Hospital strives amidst difficulties to serve its teaming clients with the best care required. Each year, the TTH sees over 100,000 clients, including those needing nephrological services mainly from the five (5) regions of Northern Ghana, Bono East and Oti Regions, as well as some parts of Burkina-Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Niger.
Over the last couple of years, the TTH has been providing tertiary healthcare services in specific specialise areas such as nephrological services in line with its mandate of providing advanced clinical health services, training of undergraduate and postgraduate medical and other health professionals and researching into health issues for the purposes of improving health outcomes albeit with a lot of challenges. These challenges call for the Hospital to mobilise all available resources from both public and private sources to appropriately provide standard care to its clients and ultimately achieving excellence. At the Renal Dialysis Unit, knowledge gap, lack of access to nephrological services, late reporting, patients’ inability to fully run prescribed dialysis sessions per week, among others have been identified as some of the key factors hindering smooth renal replacement therapy services in the Hospital.
BURDEN OF KIDNEY DISEASE
Kidney disease is a non-communicable disease (NCD) and currently affects between 8 and 10% of the adult population worldwide. The global burden of CKD is increasing, and kidney disease is projected to be the 5th leading cause of death by 2040 globally. Chronic kidney disease is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure. The costs of dialysis and transplantation consume 2–3% of the annual healthcare budget in high-income countries. In low-income and middle-income countries, including Ghana, most people with kidney failure have insufficient access to lifesaving dialysis and kidney transplantation.
Crucially, kidney disease can be prevented and progression to end-stage kidney disease can be delayed with appropriate access to basic diagnostics and early treatment. However, while national policies and strategies for NCDs in general are present in Ghana, specific policies directed toward education and awareness about kidney disease as well as CKD screening, management and treatment are lacking. In the catchment area of the Hospital there is a need to mount serious campaign about kidney disease to create awareness among the populace to help curb the rising numbers.
WORLD KIDNEY DAY 2022 IN TTH
The thrust of TTH’s celebration of this year’s World Kidney Day is to raise awareness about the increasing number of the disease in Northern Ghana to ensure kidney health for all. This will put the disease in the spotlight which will waken us up to strive for “Kidney Health for All – Bridge the gap to better kidney care”.Specifically, in line with the global objectives for this year’s celebration, we aim to highlight the importance of preventive interventions to avert the onset and progression of kidney disease.
Since 2015 when renal dialysis started in TTH, there has been a consistent increase in the number of patients including staff with kidney disease reporting at the Hospital. This situation calls for a concerted effort to mount vigorous education on the disease to create awareness of the disease among the populace which will ultimately help in curbing the situation. But this is a task that the Hospital requires corporate support to execute; fortunately, Roche supported the Hospital to carry out an outreach programme to the Upper East Region to mark World Kidney Day, 2022. In climaxing the celebrations, the TTH carried out a screening for its staff.