More men in Ashanti Region becoming hypertensive

The Ghana Demographic Health Survey has revealed a disturbingly high prevalence of hypertension among males in the Ashanti Region.

Those between the ages of 15 and 49 were found to be prone to abnormally high blood pressure.

Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Health Director, Dr Alberta Biritwum Nyarko, said men in the region “are 10 times likely to have the disease than males in the same age group, elsewhere in the country”.

She made the findings of the survey known at the annual health performance review meeting held in Kumasi.

She could, however, not tell what was making more men in the region increasingly hypertensive, except to say that further research was being carried out to determine the cause.

The meeting brought together health professionals from the various facilities and medical institutions, chiefs and representatives of civil society organisations.

Dr Biritwum-Nyarko identified hypertension as the third highest cause of death in the metropolis.

The Health Directorate was, therefore, determined to launch sustained public education and health outreach programmes to reverse the trend, she added.

She said her outfit was making progress to bring down maternal deaths in the region, adding it had reduced to 290 per 100,000 live births, from 336 per 100,000 livebirths.

Infant mortality, she indicated, had also dropped from 3.6 per 1,000 live births to 1.9 per 1,000 livebirths.

The Metropolitan Health Director applauded the Kumasi South Hospital’s Infectious Disease Treatment Unit, for leading efforts to curb respiratory diseases, through the study of airborne viruses.

Mr Solomon Boakye, an official at the metropolitan health directorate, said five out of the seven suspected meningitis cases reported from the five sub-metropolitan areas proved positive and that there were three deaths.

He underlined the need to build more community-based health planning and services (CHPS) compounds to improve access to quality health care.

He also added his voice to the call to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to promptly reimburse health facilities for services rendered to insurance card holders.

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