Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) Performs First Kidney Transplants, Signifying a Milestone in Ghana’s Healthcare

The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Ghana’s leading medical facility, has successfully performed its first-ever kidney transplants. Two male patients underwent the highly delicate surgeries on July 4 and 5, 2023, carried out by a team of Ghanaian specialist doctors, nurses, and anaesthetists.

To enhance confidence and expertise, the surgical team had the support of two foreign experts—a theatre technician and a transplant surgeon. The female donors who generously donated their kidneys are reported to be in good condition and have already been discharged from the hospital.

Professor James Edward Mensah, the Head of the Department of Surgery at KBTH, expressed positive signs of success as the first patient began producing urine within 24 hours of the surgery. This indicates that the patient’s body had adapted to the transplanted kidney.

To ensure ethical practices and legal compliance, an ethics committee comprising surgeons, attorneys, and other specialists has been established. The committee will establish guidelines to safeguard the hospital from potential legal challenges and will also ensure that kidney donors receive comprehensive counseling and information.

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The costly surgeries, estimated to be around $21,000 each, were sponsored by the First Sky Group, a Ghanaian-owned private company. The benevolent company will also sponsor three more kidney transplants scheduled to take place at KBTH next month.

This groundbreaking achievement by KBTH is a significant advancement in healthcare for kidney-related diseases in Ghana. Previously, patients had to travel to countries like South Africa or India for such costly treatments, which often exceeded $250,000.

Professor Mathew Kyei, a Urologist at KBTH, revealed that the hospital assessed its capacity and determined that it could only perform three kidney transplants per month. While six patients were initially scheduled for surgery, only three will be carried out in the following month. He further shared that currently, approximately 1,000 people in Ghana are undergoing dialysis in various hospitals, and the First Sky Group generously sponsors dialysis treatment for 250 patients at KBTH three times a week.

The successful kidney transplants at KBTH mark a significant advancement in medical care in Ghana, providing hope and improved treatment options for patients with kidney-related ailments.

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