The Mirror Lifestyle Content

Kidney health needs increased awareness

Kidney health needs increased awareness

Thursday, March 14 was World Kidney Day.

It is a day observed annually on the second Thursday of March to raise awareness of kidney health, the importance of prevention, early detection and management of kidney disease.


The theme for this year is: ‘Kidney Health for All.’

In Ghana, studies have shown that there is a high burden of chronic kidney disease among patients with type two diabetes and hypertension.

Those are however not the only causes of kidney disease.

Apart from these two conditions which are contributing to kidney disease, a nephrologist and physician specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Dr Elliot Koranteng Tannor, recently called for a study into how some herbal preparations contribute to kidney disease.

Dr Tannor said claims that herbal medications had no side effects were not wholly true.

Apart from the lack of awareness which makes many rely on uncertified herbal preparations, the popularity of herbal medicines is based on the fact that it is thought to be natural with no side effects.

 In some cases, they are also the cheaper and more accessible option for many.

The challenge has been that in many cases, the source and composition of some of these herbal preparations are shrouded in secrecy and potentially toxic substances may be added to improve their potency but this comes with more side effects.

Some of these herbal remedies have not been tested for efficacy and most importantly safety, especially on the kidneys.

Doctors have indicated a rise in cases of high blood pressure among Ghanaians, explaining that it is being fuelled by improper lifestyles, including the lack of physical activity and poor diets.

Recently, there was public concern about the increase in the price of dialysis at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

This is compounded by the lack of such services nationwide.

Treatment through kidney transplant is not an easy one since it involves getting a donor, surgical interventions and the use of expensive medicines.

This leaves the populace with preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of kidney disease.

The Mirror would want to re-echo the recommendation of doctors on how to maintain kidney health.

This includes avoiding smoking and high alcohol consumption, eating a balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables, managing any underlying health conditions according to your doctor’s advice and avoiding drug abuse.

There is also the need to get regular check-ups, control blood pressure, manage blood sugar and exercise.

Let us spread the word to reduce the incidence of kidney disease.

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