A campaign to raise money to build a haemodialysis center for the Upper East Regional Hospital has been launched by management and staff at the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga in collaboration with stakeholders on Thursday 2nd March 2023.

The Upper East Regional Hospital has been without a dialysis cen­tre since its establishment, a situation that has caused pain and death to people who are suffering from kidney related issues.

Fund raising flyer

A Physician Specialist at the facility Dr. Emmanuel Akatibo had earlier revealed in a post that some fifteen people who were suffering from kidney disease lost their lives due to the lack of a dialysis cen­tre to manage them.

Dr. Emmanuel Akatibo

This and other situations compelled Dr. Akatibo and Dr. Ayamga to launch a fund which seeks to solicit funds towards the establishment of a dialysis cen­tre

Mr. Ayamga Ayariga, a Critical Care Nurse at the Hospital, proposed the establishment of the Center, which Dr. Emmanuel Akatibo, a Physician Specialist, championed.

The Regional Minister, Mr. Stephen Yakubu, stated, “We have chosen for ourselves to raise funds towards the establishment of a 24-hour state-of-the-art Haemodialysis Centre to provide service for clients in the Region,” which is estimated to cost approximately GH800,000.

Upper East Regional Minister

He said that even though getting the Center in the Region was a big challenge, it would be an “Opportunity for us to stop being victims of circumstance” if it was accomplished.

“It is an opportunity for us as stakeholders in the Region to ensure that haemodialysis services are provided to individuals with renal conditions, which have for some time now become more prevalent than ever.”

Mr. Yakubu stated, “It is unacceptable that we still have to travel to TTH and other tertiary health facilities outside the Region for dialysis in today’s modern Ghana.” This is extremely unbearable, preventable, and utterly unjust.

He made the observation that the Region’s lack of certain medical equipment for managing health conditions had, over time, resulted in the deaths of a number of people and hampered the progress and development of both individuals and communities.

The Minister thanked Mr. Ayariga and Dr. Akatibo for having a “sense of initiative” and thanked the Hospital’s management for backing the idea.

He committed GH500.00 to the project and instructed each of the 15 Municipalities and District Assemblies to contribute GH500.00 as seed capital to the fund. Additionally, a number of organizations and individuals contributed a variety of GH500.00 to the fund at the start.

The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Aiden Suntaa Saanwie, said, “It is the responsibility of the kidneys to get rid of all the toxins produced in the body.” The kidneys were one of the major excretory organs in the body.

He stated, “If the kidneys fail to get rid of these toxic substances, it causes injuries to other normal cells and eventually leads to morbidity and mortality if nothing is done about it.”

He stated, “But in the very advanced stage, there are two current ways of handling it, either by renal transplant or renal dialysis.” He added that kidneys could be managed conservatively in the event that they failed.

Ghana offers transplants, but they are prohibitively expensive and difficult to obtain. The Medical Director stated, “So we are left with the option of dialysis, which is also equally expensive, but if you compare the two devils, you will take the dialysis.”

He stated that the Hospital could establish the dialysis center with the support of stakeholders in the region in order to provide services without requiring patients to travel to Tamale on a daily basis.

Tongraan Kugbilsong Nanlebegtang, who Chaired the event and is the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, stated that the Region was far from the nation’s capital and frequently received little or no benefit from projects centered at the national level.

Paramount Chief of Talensi Traditional Area

Therefore, as a people, we must act independently. While we are demanding, we must demonstrate our seriousness by doing certain things ourselves. The Chief declared, “We as Chiefs will not halt in our course to request from the government what we believe is due us.”