The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), in collaboration with Transplant Links UK, has performed successful kidney transplant for four patients with kidney conditions in a major breakthrough in local medical practice.
The transplant team at the KBTH was led by surgeons Dr Bernard Morton and Dr James Edward Mensah, and kidney specialists, Dr Vincent Bioma and Dr Dwomoa Adu.
The patients, who included three males and a female, are currently doing well.
For each transplant, the donor of the kidney was a healthy family member.
That gives the person who received the donated kidney the chance to return to a normal life away from a kidney dialysis machine.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the KBTH said the donor operation was carried out through a keyhole surgery technique, which means that they did not have to spend long hours in hospital after the operation.
“Each donor is assessed before the operation to make sure that they are fit and well, and able to safely donate one of their kidneys. The donated kidney is then implanted into the relative with kidney failure, who has to take medications to prevent rejection,” it explained.
It noted that kidney failure was common in Ghana, and was often caused by high blood pressure or diabetes.
“Without a transplant, a patient with end-stage kidney failure must rely on many hours of kidney dialysis per week to survive,” it said.
The statement said the Transplant Links team had worked with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital since 2008, and many patients had already benefited.
It further noted that the First Sky Group fully funded the accommodation, feeding and airfare of the transplant team from UK.
The Chief Executive of the hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, who revived the kidney transplant programme, said the objective of the revival was to build local capacity so that kidney transplant became “a routine procedure that our surgeons perform”.