Upper East Regional hospital to start dialysis services by end of 2023 — Medical Director

  Mon, 20 Nov 2023
Health Upper East Regional hospital to start dialysis services by end of 2023 — Medical Director

Dr Aiden Suntaa Saanwie, Medical Director of the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, says the facility will start haemodialysis services in December 2023.

He said one of the hospital's structures was renovated to serve as the Centre, and management over the week would inspect same, and install equipment for test-run if the facility met the required standard.

“So, we are aiming that at the end of the end, we should be able to commission the Centre, and probably have our first case on board,” he said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of the launch of the World Prematurity Day celebration at the Hospital.

The launch was on the theme: “Small actions, big impact: Immediate skin-to-skin for every baby everywhere.”

Dr Saanwie said a doctor from the hospital was under training at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, while some nurses who completed a training programme in Koforidua had returned and ready to operate the Centre.

He said the Centre would start operations with three dialysis machines and appealed for more to boost the yet-to-be operational facility, “It is a good start with the number we have, but we will need more,” he added.

He further explained the need to have more dialysis machines, saying “There are people who come with other medical conditions, like retroviral exposed patients that we must dedicate machines to such patients.

“We do not use the general machines. But with this humble start, we must build up,” the Medical Director, who is a Gynaecologist, said.

In March 2023, management, and staff of the Hospital in collaboration with stakeholders, launched a campaign for funds to construct a Haemodialysis Centre for the Region.

The Hospital, a major referral centre for the Region, receives cases from parts of Burkina Faso, Upper West and North East Regions, without a Haemodialysis Centre.

Patients in need of haemodialysis services in the Region had over the years relied on the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) among other facilities outside the Region for such services.

The idea to establish the Centre, estimated to cost GHȻ800,000.00 was mooted by Mr Ayamga Ayariga, a Critical Care Nurse in the Hospital, and championed by Dr Emmanuel Akatibo, a Physician Specialist.

“We have had a lot of goodwill since the fund was launched through cash and kind encouragements,” Dr Saanwie said.

On whether there would be subsidy on the cost of services, the Medical Director said management had not concluded on the modalities on subsidy and urged members of the public to hold on with issues of subsidy.

He said management would set up a Board to manage inflows, and the remaining funds from contributions of members of the public and institutions after the Centre was fully established.

Dr Saanwie said if the Board deemed it prudent to subsidize the care for dialysis patients from the remaining proceeds, it may take the decision in consultation with hospital management.

“But we must be cautious in letting the public have the expectation that it would be subsidized. We know that dialysis is expensive.

“If we start subsidising, we may run the Centre down. We have good intentions for the Centre, and we do not intend to start and within one or two months, the Centre is down,” he cautioned.