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14.11.2008 Health

Kidney transplant patients doing well

Kidney transplant patients doing well

The patient and donors of the first kidney transplant are doing remarkably well, authorities at the Korle_Bu Teaching Hospital said on Thursday.

Three renal patients received kidney transfers. The first was from a sister to a brother, a father to a son and a wife to a husband between Monday and Wednesday.

The surgery was performed jointly by a team of medical doctors from Queen's hospital in the United Kingdom (UK) and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

At a news briefing in Accra, Dr. Charlotte Osafo and Head of the Renal Unit said “one of the patients is fit and would be discharged tomorrow. We are celebrating the hope that renal patients has got for this historic event.”

According to her, renal cases constituted 9.5 percent of all medical admissions and that 558 cases were recorded between January and July this year.

She said the unit undertook 4000 dialysis session per annum from 2005-2008 and had about 2000 percent increase, as compared to 200 dialysis sessions from 172-1990.

Dr Osafo said dialysis was not the final treatment for kidney failure but served as a stop gap towards transplant which was a more convenient and less expensive way of dealing with the condition.

She said though Kidney transplant was very expensive, it improved the quality of life and was relatively cheaper than dialysis, adding that, it also helped reduce the financial burden on family and friends.

In Ghana each operation would cost about 30,000 Ghana cedis but the Ghana Kidney Foundation would assist each patient to take the bill.

She commended the UK team, and the entire staff of the hospital for the effort saying, “every department was part of the success”.

The Minister of Health Major (Rtd) Courage Quashigah called for the donation of body parts to save lives.

This, he said, required intensive education and noted that the Health Promotion Unit of the Ghana Health service would be resourced to take it up.

He expressed his joy at the first successful transplant and commended Ecobank and Cal Bank for their immense support and the hospital staff for the team spirit which saw the fruition of the project.

The Minister reiterated the need to inculcate in the school curriculum, health education and nutrition, saying that the British Government had implemented it in schools in the UK.

He called on the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to produce pamphlets in simple language on the vital part of the body to educate the public on healthy lifestyles.

Dr Andrew Ready, Head of the UK team said members were satisfied with all the hospital equipment and also commended the staff for a successful surgery.

He explained that though some symptoms of Kidney failure were swollen ankles, tiredness and anaemia, most of it came at the latter stage of the disease, adding that donors were carefully examined before their kidneys were harvested to enable them live normal with one kidney.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital, Professor Nii Nartey appealed to individual and corporate organizations to support the Ghana Kidney Foundation in its efforts to establish a Centre at Korle Bu by contributing into the Ridge branch of Ecobank account number 1101571100112.