The Bank Hospital, a facility that belongs to the Bank of Ghana, has inaugurated a Renal Dialysis Unit to serve patients with kidney diseases in the country and West Africa.
The facility brings to 16 the number of renal centres in the country.
Equipped with modern dialysis machines and specialists, the centre now gives the country a total of 127 dialysis machines, 89 of which are in the Greater Accra Region.
The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia-Asare, inaugurated the facility at the Bank Hospital Annex at Cantonments in Accra yesterday and said the government had taken the decision to fully equip the 101 regional and district hospitals under Agenda 111 with dialysis units to increase access to renal care.
Dr Nsia-Asare stated that during the celebration of World Kidney Day in Kumasi last month, it was observed that the country with 31 million people had 127 dialysis machines and 16 centres serving the entire population, which was inadequate.
"We have realised that we are losing many patients who need renal treatment due to inadequate centres and proximity of centres," he said.
In order to reduce the burden of cost in treating renal disease, he said, the government would set up a renal fund or get an insurance system in place to cater for renal cases.
Dr Nsia-Asare added that the government was considering a legislative framework for a stand-alone renal transplant unit in the country.
“When a patient is on renal dialysis, the ultimate will be to have a kidney transplant, but as we speak only the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has done a few renal transplants, with help from people from the diaspora,” the former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service explained.
The Renal Unit has 24 machines and 24 beds in nine cubicles.
Two of the machines are dedicated to paediatric cases.
The facility has two consulting and waiting rooms, with the waiting rooms able to hold between 10 and 20 patients.
Additionally, the unit provides an isolation centre for patients with infections.
A Nephrologist and Medical Director of the Bank Hospital, Dr Charlotte Osafo, explained that it was important to separate patients with infections from those without them to avoid complications.
Dr Osafo, who gave a presentation on the state of the unit, said the facility had a team of professionals such as nephrologists and nurses.
Furthermore, the unit has a water treatment room for purifying the water meant for renal treatment as well as an acid concentration room.
“We have three doctors in place. Two of us are permanent and one is sectional from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, who will be supporting us,” she said.
“We will also be working close with other dialysis units in other hospitals to make sure that together we take care of our patients,” Dr Osafo said.