Medical officials at the Bank Hospital in Accra have revealed the worrying phenomenon of kidney disease among young people in the country.

According to them, the number of young people contracting the disease is on the rise.

Speaking at the launch of an ultra-modern renal center at the facility, a senior staffer at the Hospital, Dr. Charlotte Osafo, cautioned the public to take preventative steps.

“The main things that make people get kidney disease in Ghana – the first thing is hypertension. A lot of people have hypertension but they don’t control the hypertension. So, it is important that if you are diagnosed, you also have to do certain things like reducing your salt intake, reducing your weight, regular exercise, and eating healthily.

“All those are important, not only for hypertensive patients but also for diabetics, because diabetes is also one of the causes of kidney failure. Infections are also one of the causes. If you go to the hospital and they say you’ve got an infection of the kidney, and they give you medications, you have to take it,” she urged.

Speaking at the same event, the Presidential advisor on health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, disclosed the government’s plans to institute an insurance system to cater for patients undergoing dialysis.

He explained that the insurance system would also help ease the financial burden of persons with kidney diseases.

“The cost of treating one patient on renal dialysis for a year is about GH¢50,700 and I’m sure most families cannot afford that amount for one patient alone; it’s huge and it’s out of the reach of people.

“So, we also want to set up a renal fund or insurance system which will take care of renal cases,” he said.

He further revealed the government’s intention to pass a law to regulate the donation of kidneys to patients who may have to undergo a kidney transplant.

“But before we do that, we have to put a legislation in place to back kidney transplant so that people don’t just catch people on the street and remove their kidneys to sell,” he noted.

The kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. As kidneys fail, waste builds up.

Kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.

Symptoms develop slowly and aren’t specific to the disease. Some people have no symptoms at all and are diagnosed by a lab test.

Medication helps manage symptoms. In later stages, filtering the blood with a machine (dialysis) or a transplant may be required.

The Bank Hospital also known as The Bank of Ghana Hospital is a hospital in Ghana completed in 2017, the hospital is located at Cantonment in Accra.