High cost of dialysis, we need insurance for kidney patients – CCF makes urgent call to gov’t

Executive Director of CCF Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng with some kidney patients.
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Crime Check Foundation (CCF) a human rights advocacy organisation has made an urgent call for the inclusion of chronic kidney disease in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to help save lives of the poor.

According to the Executive Director of the Foundation, Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, the Ministry of Health should consider a funding policy that will aim at bringing relief to the high number of kidney disease patients who depend on dialysis treatment for survival in the country.

He made the call during an end of year Christmas party for the vulnerable in society including some kidney patients the CCF and its partners are supporting.

According to the testimonies from the patients present at the occasion they’re still alive because of the intervention of the NGO and its donors.

Mr. Oppong Kwarteng lamented that most of the people who suffer from this chronic disease are the youth who usually come from poor homes and cannot practically afford the cost of dialysis; about GHC4,000 per month.

“It is important that government introduced National Health Insurance Scheme but it doesn’t cater for all ailments. We have come to the realisation that kidney patients are suffering. The cost involved is huge because usually it involves kidney transplants; about $15,000 to $20,000. The statistics we have indicates that most of these people suffering from this disease are from the poverty bracket, meaning that most of them going to die,” he reiterated.

“They need to be on dialysis and need to pay about GHC1,000 every week to access dialysis. How many of them can pay? As you can see from their physical appearances, they’re not in the best shape.”

In view of the high rise in kidney cases in the country where statistics from the Ghana Health Service say 1 in 8 people in the country have kidney disease, Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng has appealed to the government to introduce aggressive public education on it just as they’re doing for HIV/AIDS.

“You cannot prevent if you’re ignorant. It is the responsibility of government to intensify public health education on these two ailments. Many people don’t know that if you eat this or that the possibility of contracting the disease cannot be discounted. How many people in the villages or even the cities know? He queried.

“Just look at education on HIV/AIDS, it was all over the place. Do you hear education on kidney diseases, no. Government should devote resources in intensifying education on public health to know the dos and don’ts,” Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng added.

He also blamed the media for not doing much about advocating for an insurance scheme for the deadly disease which is among the top 10 killer diseases in Ghana.
“They’re are suffering, they die every week and it appears that the media’s focus has not been there. The focus is on politics most of the times and we need to move away from that,” the CCF Executive Director stated.

Meanwhile, the Crime Check Foundation has pledged to embark on a massive health education to educate the public on diseases that are crippling a lot of poor families.

“We’re pushing our next efforts to hospitals. Kidney patients are dying, breast cancer patients are dying. The cost involved in chemotherapy is high; many people don’t have the money so 2022 our focus is going to be on breast cancer education and support and kidney education and support for patients.”

Besides, the advocacy group and partners said they  will continue to introduce more social intervention programmes to reduce poverty in society.

Mr. Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng disclosed that the already existing programmes including the Health Check Series, Petty Offenders Series, Street Charity Series and Educational Support Series will  continue to help the vulnerable and the poor.

The Christmas party which hosted over 240 people was to put smiles on the faces of the vulnerable comprising of ex-convicts, kidney patients, widows, persons living with disability and other less privileged in society.

These people have been beneficiaries of the benevolent activities of the Foundation throughout the year with kind courtesy of their donors.

These group of people were invited from Mangoase, Ningo Prampram, Pantang, Kasoa  where each person received assorted items including pieces of wax prints, rice, oil, tomatoes puree, cash donations for their Christmas celebration.

The Executive Director and beneficiaries of the event commended the numerous donors and partners both home and abroad for the continuous support they’re rendering to the Foundation in its quest to reduce poverty.

By: Sefakor Fekpe