Chronic kidney disease – The ‘neglected’ Non-Communicable Disease in Ghana

Non communicable diseases (NCDs) have been of great concern lately with increasing morbidity and mortality. Despite the attention given to non-communicable diseases worldwide and in developing countries, chronic kidney disease and its complications is not highlighted. Chronic kidney disease has increasing incidence and prevalence and also complicates both communicable and communicable diseases. It has high morbidy, mortality and greatly affects quality of life.

In Ghana, chronic glomerulonephritis is the most common cause of chronic kidney disease followed by diabetes and hypertension. There is anecdotal evidence that the excessive use of herbal medications also compounds the problem. Management of end stage renal disease is very expensive and most patients cannot afford renal replacement therapy. A concerted effort is needed by all stakeholders to recognise kidney disease as an important non-communicable disease to reduce the disease burden.