Regional News Tue, 17 Feb 2004

Hypertension constitutes 21 percent of deaths in Central Region

Cape Coast, Feb. 17, GNA - A total of 123 hypertension-related deaths, constituting 21 percent of adult deaths in the Central Region, were recorded last year.

Hypertension and other non-communicable ailments like heart diseases, diabetes and cancer have been the top three causes of deaths in the past years.

Dr Aaron Offei, Regional Director of Health Services said this at a press briefing to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the region.

The celebration is under the theme: "Eat well, stay healthy and live longer".

He pointed out that some of these non-communicable diseases were associated with the diet of the people and therefore, advocated for a shift from the high cholesterol and sugary foods to high fibre diet and vegetable and fruits.

"Let us revisit some of the diets our parents were eating, it is important to note that what we eat is what may determine how long we live, so let's eat well to stay healthy and live longer" he declared. Dr Offei announced that anaemia in pre-school age groups in the region was one of the highest in the country, representing 85 percent and urged parents to invest more in the nutritional needs of their children.

He said green leaves, fish, palm oil and beans were highly nutritious.

He was also concerned that the rate of protein energy malnutrition among the under five was 35 percent and that vitamin 'A' deficiency was also the cause of child morbidity and mortality in the region. The Regional Director also touched on the monthly 'health walk' instituted by the service, and expressed concern that "important target groups" like managers, chief executives and heads of department who do not engage in much physical activity, and for whom the walk would be beneficial, do not patronise it.

and announced that apart from developing a 'patient charter', quality assurance teams have been established in all health facilities to conduct 'patient satisfaction surveys' to determine their needs.

Source: GNA