Health News of 2014-04-19

Over 36 million people die annually from non-communicable diseases

Over 36 million people die annually from non-communicable diseases, whilst communicable diseases also cause millions of deaths each year. Dr Jacob Abebrese, Medical Superintendent of the Sunyani Regional Hospital disclosed this at Fiapre near Sunyani during a Regional Delegates Conference of the Brong-Ahafo National Service Personnel Association (NASPA). The day's conference, on the theme: "Intensifying Health Awareness, The Role of the National Service Person," was attended by 96 delegates. It was to deliberate on vital issues like health that could contribute to the development of the Region. Dr Abebrese said the health sector was faced with double agony, because it is now battling with non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases which have become more common than even communicable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. He said another health issue that causes death or contributes to health problems is malnutrition, saying 7.5 million children under the age of five globally die from it annually.

Dr Abebrese, therefore, advised parents to feed their children with fruits and vegetables, instead of bottled and imported canned foods and drinks.

He said many lives being lost through a lot of diseases could have been prevented, if bad lifestyles and inaccessibility of health care system by some people were stopped.

Dr Abebrese mentioned poor diet, over-eating, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and neglect of oral hygiene, as some of the major causes of death in the country.

He said the growing rate of obesity, an issue relating to stress and overwork in many countries, has further complicated the interactions between work and health.

Dr Abebrese stated that a healthy and productive work force was necessary for national growth, and therefore asked the delegates to come out with strategies to intensify health education to reduce the incidence of diseases most of which are preventable and avoidable.

Mr. Kwasi Oppong Ababio, Sunyani Municipal Chief executive (MCE) in a speech read for him, commended the personnel for accepting postings to the Region to contribute their quota to its development.

He noted that the current crop of service personnel are nation builders and development-conscious, because they have been able to identify themselves as key stakeholders in the intensification of health awareness.

Mr Shadrach Mensah Abebrese, Regional President of the Association, expressed optimism that productivity and the economic situation of the country could be improved if enough attention was given to health issues.

He stated that lack accommodation has been a major challenge for personnel, and therefore appealed to community leaders and the general public to assist in that regard.

NASPA, under the Ghana National Service Scheme, was established in 1983 with the aim of advocating on behalf of the Ghanaian youth, especially Service/Voluntary Personnel to voice out their opinions so long as their welfare was concerned.