State of renal replacement therapy services in Ghana

Blood Purif. 2015;39(1-3):137-40. doi: 10.1159/000368942. Epub 2015 Jan 20.


Introduction: Renal replacement therapy (RRT) in the form of dialysis and kidney transplantation is a life-saving intervention for patients with kidney disease in failure for both acute and chronic cases. Ghana is an emerging economy in West Africa with close to 27 million people. The limited data that is available indicates a significant burden of kidney disease in Ghana. I analyzed the state of RRT in Ghana in this report.

Method: A situational analysis report conducted to establish the availability and type of renal replacement therapy services across the country. Information was obtained from records at dialysis centers and also by interview of staff at these centers.

Results: Haemodialysis services are available in 3 public and 3 private health institutions for adults in kidney failure both acute and chronic. These centers are located in the southern half of the country leaving the northern two-thirds uncovered. National Health Insurance Scheme pays for the cost of acute dialysis for up to GHC 850 (∼USD 265). However, there is no insurance cover for any aspect of chronic RRT putting huge financial constraints on families, which sometimes plunge entire extended families into serious financial crisis. Kidney transplantation is available on a limited scale at the national capital. Children only benefit from peritoneal dialysis for acute kidney injury, thanks to the partnership with Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation. There is no rescue intervention as of now for children with end stage renal failure.

Conclusion: The current state of RRT services in Ghana is inadequate and calls for serious national consideration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / economics*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidney Transplantation / economics*
  • Male
  • Renal Dialysis / economics*