15-Year-Old Renal Patient Dies Despite Pleas for Support Amid Rising Dialysis Costs

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A 15-year-old renal patient on dialysis at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, who appealed for support in an interview with JoyNews, has died.

The mother of the young girl, Priscilla Asante, revealed that her daughter passed away early Sunday at 1 a.m.

In an interview with JoyNews’ Richard Kwadwo Nyarko, Madam Ruth said that she saw her daughter, Priscilla, bloating on the day of her passing.

She added the doctor had informed her that this was an indication both kidneys of the young girl had failed.

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Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnight, on Wednesday, the headmaster of Mampong Catholic A Basic School, where Priscilla was a pupil, revealed that the young girl had been writing her third term examination prior to the tragedy.

Mr Francis Ampong said that the school had noted some unusual changes in Priscilla days before her passing and had sent her home to her parents.

He stated that there was a delay in sending her to the hospital immediately because her mother who was home at the time had no money.

However, they managed to send her to a local hospital and later the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital where she died days later.

Meanwhile, Priscialla’s mother noted that her daughter’s death came just a month after she started her dialysis treatment.

She said that had her daughter survived the family would have needed about GH¢‎1000 every week for her dialysis treatment.

Madam Ruth stated that in the short time period, the family has accumulated a lot of debt in their bid to help her daughter seek treatment.

She said that they still needed to pay the hospital about GH¢‎4000 to retrieve her daughter’s body for burial on Sunday.

Madam Ruth appealed to the government to reduce the cost of dialysis treatment so people from lower-income homes struggling with renal failure could afford it.

Priscilla’s death comes barely a day after her interview with JoyNews was aired.

The young Junior High School student revealed she had to miss classes and seek treatment at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital every week.

She shared her dream of wanting to become a nurse and hoped for a full recovery.

Priscilla had appealed to the public and the government to come to her and her family’s aid so they could pay for her dialysis treatment.

Background

The past weeks have witnessed a public outcry over the increase in the cost of dialysis – a regular medical treatment for persons with kidney failure in Ghana.

It follows reports of the increased cost of dialysis per session for those with kidney conditions by over 100% at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The cost of dialysis per session at the hospital was increased from GH¢380.00 to GH¢765.42.

While some health facilities are yet to adjust their costs, regular dialysis is a headache for many who are unable to afford it resulting in the death of many patients.

In a press conference on Monday, the Renal Patients Association of Ghana, comprised of individuals with kidney conditions, disclosed that fourteen of its members passed away between May and September while at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

The association attributed this to a shortage of consumables at the facility, resulting in a limitation of dialysis services to only emergency cases.

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