The Jospong Group of Companies has presented separate cheques totalling almost GH¢500,000 to three renal facilities in Accra.
The money is to support kidney patients’ treatment at Korle Bu Renal Unit, University of Ghana Dialysis Centre and Renal Unit of the Bank Hospital, which for some reasons are unable to afford dialysis treatment.
Making the presentations at the respective hospitals, Chief Corporate Communication Officer-Jospong Group, Madam Sophia Kudjordji, said the gesture aligns with the company’s mission of improving people’s lives.
“We believe that it’s not just about creating jobs but also ensuring people are healthy to contribute their quota in the nation’s development,” she emphasised.
She mentioned that the company is also planning on replicating the gesture at some regional hospitals to support dialysis treatment in the regions.
Madam Kudjodji prayed government to consider placing dialysis treatment on the national insurance scheme in order to reduce the cost burden on patients.
The donation was to fulfil the company’s promise made during its 2023 thanksgiving service, to support dialysis patients with an amount of GH¢500,000.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of Korle Bu Renal Unit, CEO-Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, urged parliament to expedite action on approving the proposed fees for dialysis treatment.
The CEO noted that the hospital is still under-recovering as it continues to charge the old fee of GH¢365 instead of GH¢780.
“We are currently under-recovering to the tune of GH¢400 per dialysis, and we need to find this amount before it comes back to haunt us,” Dr. Ampomah said.
Dr. Ampomah noted that as they wait for approval of the new fees, the facility is also counting on benevolence from individuals and corporate Ghana to bear some of the cost.
On her part, Director-Operations, University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), Mrs. Lucy Brimpong Ofori-Ayeh applauded Jospong Group for coming to the aid of dialysis patients.
She noted that, “There are a lot of patients who because of their economic condition are unable to pay for their treatments, so this is welcome and will greatly reduce mortality”.
Deputy Director-Nursing Services (DDNS) Rita Momo Sika-Nartey, explaining the gravity of the challenge, noted that due the financial challenges most patients only undergo a session or two instead of the recommended three.
“If a patient is undergoing just one session of dialysis, then it’s better they don’t do it at all because they’re always sick and can’t even afford their drugs,” she lamented.
Director-Nursing & Midwifery Services, UGMC, Judith Naa Klokor Asiamah noted that the hospital needs about 16 dialysis machines to run optimally. The Centre currently has only four dialysis machines.
She therefore appealed for the general public to support the Centre with dialysis machines, so they can assist the ever-increasing number of patients.
It is estimated that between 13% to 17% of Ghana’s population have some form of renal function impairment. This equates to between 4 million and 5.2 million citizens. Researchers suggest that from this segment of the population, between 15,000 and 19,500 should be on dialysis.
The data available suggest that approximately 2,000 people are currently on dialysis, implying that between 13,000 and 17,500 people are without treatment. These people will often seek alternative forms of treatment, and access renal care only when the situation becomes acute. This has an impact on their quality of life and life-expectancy.