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Hemodialysis in Ghana: Unveiling Regional Disparities and Challenges

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

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Introduction

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a growing concern in Ghana. While Hemodialysis (HD) remains the most prevalent treatment option, its accessibility varies significantly across the country. This article aims to shed light on the state of Hemodialysis in Ghana, focusing on regional disparities, availability, and the challenges faced by patients.


Keywords: Hemodialysis in Ghana, Chronic Kidney Disease, regional disparities, healthcare in Ghana


Regional Disparity in HD Services

Key Statistics

Greater Accra: 26 HD Centers, 227 HD machines

Other Regions: Mostly one or no center

The Greater Accra region is notably better equipped in terms of HD centers and machines. This reveals a glaring inequality in healthcare distribution across Ghana.


The Role of Private Sector

Key Statistics

Private Centers: 27 (67.5%)

State-owned Centers: 13 (32.5%)

The private sector owns a majority of HD centers, indicating a lack of sufficient public healthcare infrastructure for treating kidney diseases.


Scarcity of Specialized Personnel

Key Statistics

Nephrologists in Ghana: 15

Centers Without a Nephrologist: 23 out of 40 (57.5%)

The lack of specialized healthcare personnel further compounds the challenges in kidney care in Ghana.


The Financial Barrier

Key Statistics

Average Cost per HD Session: $53.9

Cost in Private Centers: $56.7

Cost in State-owned Centers: $48.2

High treatment costs, mostly borne out-of-pocket, make HD less accessible for many, especially those in lower-income brackets.


Underutilization of HD Services

Key Statistics

Patients Receiving HD: 1,195

Prevalence: 38.8 patients per million population

Despite the high burden of CKD, the prevalence of patients receiving HD is low. This could be due to a combination of factors like cost, lack of awareness, and limited accessibility.


Growth and Decline

Key Statistics

Operational HD Centers: 40

Non-Operational HD Centers: 11

While new centers have opened, some have shut down or are yet to begin operations, pointing to potential sustainability issues.


The Untreated Regions

Key Statistics

Regions Without Services: Seven

Population Affected: 18.52% of Ghana's total population

A significant portion of the country lacks basic HD services, emphasizing the need for urgent interventions.


Conclusion

Hemodialysis in Ghana is marked by significant regional disparities, high costs, and a lack of specialized personnel. A concerted effort from healthcare bodies, policymakers, and the public can go a long way in addressing these challenges.






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