Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) had become a common ailment among Ghanaians, especially young people, Madam Evelyn Biriwaa Ofei, Deputy General Manager of the Entrance Pharmaceuticals Research Centre, a Member of the Tobinco Group of Companies has said.
She noted that Ghana had every cause to be alarmed because it affected those within the economically active bracket (25-50).
She made these known at the opening session of a three-day Biennial Scientific Conference by the College of Health Sciences, in partnership with H3 Africa, being held in Accra to climax the 70th anniversary of the University of Ghana.
It is under the theme “Genetics, Hypertension, Diabetes and Herbal Remedies in Chronic Kidney Diseases”. The Guest Speaker attributed the causes to inactive lifestyles, modernisation, developments in technology and others.
She was frightened at the rate at which the disease was affecting those in the productive age bracket, adding that, that would affect the Country’s growth. Madam Ofei said research had shown that Diabetes, Hypertension and herbal remedies were major contributory factors to the increase of CKD in Ghana.
Aside these factors, alcohol, smoking, high intake of salt, regular use of analgesics, among others also contributed to CKD, she noted.Madam Ofei said the situation was serious because life depended on the kidney which was responsible for removing waste products from the blood as well as regulating water levels in the body.
Quoting the Ghana Kidney Association, she stated that, by the close of 2017, only five out of the ten regions in Ghana had Dialysis Units and out of the 4,000 patients that needed dialysis annually, 686 were on renal replacement treatment for dialysis.
The rest of the 3,314 patients, who could not afford the treatment of at least GHC300.00 per session were coping and surviving, leaving its effects on their families and on the nation in general.
She advised participants to come up with ways to deal with Diabetes and Hypertensive Nephropathies, the major drivers of kidney conditions, coupled with genetic factors, to improve the wellness of the average Ghanaian.
The Deputy General Manager commended the contribution of the Alternative Herbal Medicine introduced by KNUST 20 years ago, work done by the Centre for Research into Plant Medicine at Akropong and the involvement of the Food and Drugs’ Authourity, but was quick to add that their efforts were not enough.
She advised that players in the herbal industry be brought together for control and standardisation of their products to ensure a healthy population, as many of them were not licensed.
Professor, Patrick K. Ayeh Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Science- University of Ghana, has revealed that every year, an average of 12,000 kidney failure cases were detected among Ghanaians.
Ten per cent of the population is affected by preventable but deadly kidney diseases, globally. He explained that Chronic Kidney Disease was ranked 18th on the list of causes of total number of deaths worldwide, according to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study.
Professor Kumi said the Conference, the third of its kind, would enable faculty members and students from different institutions (both public and private) in the College and beyond to discuss research findings and propagate findings that may be helpful in the development of health policies in Ghana.
The Conference would also help participants to update their knowledge; particularly those in the districts to improve their practice, generate new ideas for research, set the stage for networking in research and encourage research in the College.