Heart Diseases on the rise in Ghana

Health specialists at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital have expressed worry about the increase rate of cardiovascular diseases, especially high blood pressure and obesity among children.

According to them, cardiovascular diseases are quite common among children nowadays, stating that the obese ones were at risk of stroke, heart attacks and diabetes.

Dr Patrick Adjei, Consultant Neurologist, who was speaking at the annual cardiovascular disease summit in Accra, said there was a need to create awareness about the diseases in order to reduce the prevalence and mortality rate.

He urged Ghanaians to increase the level of physical activities, stating that exercising at least 20 minutes a day and reducing the intake of too much oily food could help to prevent the diseases.

Dr Adjei said the summit served as a continuous professional education and a training platform for the clinicians to be abreast with the standard practice.

Dr Vincent Boima, a kidney disease specialist, said cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic lung diseases, acute lung diseases and injuries were the top killers in the world.

He said other strategies recommended for the fight against cardiovascular diseases included control of high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and eating of healthy foods.

According to Dr Boima, the excessive intake of salt and abuse of alcohol could affect the health of any individual, adding, ‘Unfortunately Ghanaians are fond of such destructive behaviours.’

The summit, which was organised by Pfizer Ghana, a pharmaceutical company, brought together about 200 healthcare practitioners from Nigeria and Ghana.

It provided the healthcare practitioners an avenue to engage in robust discussions on the latest trends in cardiovascular disease, its management, the use of general treatment guidelines and recommendations for the management of patients with cardiovascular disease.

The summit was also to deliberate on the rising burden of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa and Ghana.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one causes of death globally.

Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids.

By Cephas Larbi
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