By Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, March 7, GNA - Parliament on Wednesday threw the searchlight on kidney disease, stressing on making kidney health a personal responsibility, and flushing out all spurious advertisements on medicines inundating the airwaves.
The highlight on Kidney Disease was to commemorate this year’s World Kidney Day, which falls on March 8, 2018, on the theme” Your Kidney Health, Your Responsibility.”
Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, a physician, and MP for Ledzokuku Constituency, in Accra, in a statement supported by Mr Emmanuel Agyarko, a pharmacist and MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, stressed the need for regular checks on blood pressure and sugar levels to avoid or reduce the fatal consequences of late detection of kidney disease.
World Kidney Day (WKD) is a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.
World Kidney Day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March. At the start of this holiday, 66 countries observed this date in 2006.
Within two years, this number rose to 88. WKD is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). This holiday was intended to raise awareness about afflictions of the kidney; although many are treatable, they are a secondary medical concern of the greater population
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has a devastating impact on the patients worldwide, only a few are aware of their disease. The need for higher awareness and health education is a very apparent and a poignant issue.
“Each year, the day is celebrated as a means of raising awareness about the important role our kidney plays in the overall health of the human body and to bring attention to the conditions that are most popular for causing Kidney Disease,” Dr Boye, said in the statement.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs about the size of a fist that sit opposite each other on both the left and right side of the body. They perform the important role of processing waste and getting it out of the body in the form of urine.
Any condition of the kidney that makes it unable to process ad remove waste from the body is referred to as ”Kidney Disease “ or “Renal Failure.”
According to Dr Boye, there are many causes of kidney disease, but the three most important health concerns are hypertension, diabetes and abuse of herbal preparations; but diabetes mellitus has great potential to damage the kidneys when not treated and the potential is further enhanced when diabetes co-exists with hypertension in the same person.
Dr Boye regretted that only 10 per cent of those with kidney disease know of their status, adding, that” the rest including most of us, myself inclusive don’t not know whether we have it or not since early stages of the disease come with no symptoms at all.”
Some symptoms of kidney disease include dry and itchy skin, chronic fatigue and chronic swelling of the feet.
Mr Agyarko urged the House to take steps to stop the proliferation of adverts of herbal medicines on the airwaves, as he argued that despite the lack of data, these adverts had pushed people to believe in the claims, which he said are mostly false, and killed the unwary.
“These adverts had become rampant,” Mr Agyarko, who is also a former boss of the Ghana Foods and Drugs Authority said, adding that the “claims of these bitters are false. The claims are far-fetched.”
Mr Kwabena Ohemeng-Tinyasi, MP for Kade, in a contribution, praised Mr Oheneba Ntim Barima, a promoter of natural health medicine, for the education on health issues and advocating healthy lifestyles.
As part of the day, an exercise to check the blood pressure and blood sugar of parliamentarians and parliamentary staff was carried out in the House.