Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Invited Commentary

Vol. 2 No. 1 (2018): On your marks

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

28 February 2018


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.


  1. Organization WH. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010: Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011.
  2. Stuckler D, Basu S, McKee M. Drivers of inequality in Millennium Development Goal progress: a statistical analysis. PLoS medicine 2010;7:e1000241.
  3. Tannor EK, Archer E, Kapembwa K, van Schalkwyk SC, Davids MR. Quality of life in patients on chronic dialysis in South Africa: a comparative mixed methods study. BMC nephrology 2017;18:4.
  4. Eknoyan G, Lameire N, Barsoum R, et al. The burden of kidney disease: improving global outcomes. Kidney international 2004;66:1310-4.
  5. Jha V, Garcia-Garcia G, Iseki K, et al. Chronic kidney disease: global dimension and perspectives. The Lancet 2013;382:260-72.
  6. Coresh J, Astor BC, Greene T, Eknoyan G, Levey AS. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease and decreased kidney function in the adult US population: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. American journal of Kidney diseases 2003;41:1-12.
  7. Stanifer JW, Jing B, Tolan S, et al. The epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global health 2014;2:e174-81.
  8. Amoako YA, Laryea DO, Bedu-Addo G, Andoh H, Awuku YA. Clinical and demographic characteristics of chronic kidney disease patients in a tertiary facility in Ghana. The Pan African Medical Journal 2014;18.
  9. Ritz E, Rychlík I, Locatelli F, Halimi S. End-stage renal failure in type 2 diabetes: a medical catastrophe of worldwide dimensions. American journal of kidney diseases 1999;34:795-808.
  10. Amoah AG, Owusu SK, Adjei S. Diabetes in Ghana: a community based prevalence study in Greater Accra. Diabetes research and clinical practice 2002;56:197-205.
  11. Service GS, Research NMIfM, MEASURE/DHS+ OM. Ghana demographic and health survey, 2003: Ghana Statistical Service; 2004.
  12. Bosu WK. Epidemic of hypertension in Ghana: a systematic review. BMC public health 2010;10:418.
  13. Osafo C, Mate-Kole M, Affram K, Adu D. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease in hypertensive patients in Ghana. Renal failure 2011;33:388-92.
  14. Agyei-Mensah S, Aikins Ad-G. Epidemiological transition and the double burden of disease in Accra, Ghana. Journal of urban health 2010;87:879-97.
  15. Biritwum R, Gyapong J, Mensah G. The epidemiology of obesity in Ghana. Ghana Med J 2005;39:82-5.
  16. Matekole M, Affram K, Lee S, Howie A, Michael J, Adu D. Hypertension and end-stage renal failure in tropical Africa. Journal of human hypertension 1993;7:443-6.
  17. Vashisth P, Jain V, Chokotia LS, Sironiya R, Matoli H, Jain M. An update on herb induced chronic kidney diseases. 2013.
  18. Antwi S. State of renal replacement therapy services in Ghana. Blood purification 2015;39:137-40.
  19. Purnell TS, Auguste P, Crews DC, et al. Comparison of life participation activities among adults treated by hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation: a systematic review. Am J Kidney Dis 2013;62:953-73.
  20. Tannor E, Awuku Y, Boima V, Antwi S. The geographical distribution of dialysis services in Ghana. Renal Replacement Therapy 2018;4:3.
  21. Adu D. Haemodialysis treatment for end stage chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury in Africa. Ghana medical journal 2013;47:1.
  22. Eghan BA, AMOAKO‐ATTA K, Kankam CA, NSIAH‐ASARE A. Survival pattern of hemodialysis patients in Kumasi, Ghana: a summary of forty patients initiated on hemodialysis at a new hemodialysis unit. Hemodialysis International 2009;13:467-71.
  23. Bosu W. A comprehensive review of the policy and programmatic response to chronic non-communicable disease in Ghana. Ghana medical journal 2012;46:69-78.