The Ghana Physiotherapy Association (GPA), has celebrated the 2022 World Physiotherapy Day at Worawora, in the Biakoye District of the Oti Region.
It was to create public awareness on the importance of physiotherapy in the healthcare delivery system of the country.
The national celebration under the theme: ‘’Osteoarthritis’’, was attended by chiefs and queen mothers, students, civil society organisations and other professional bodies from across the country.
Speaking at the function, the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Mahama Asei Seini, underscored the importance of physiotherapy in the provision of quality healthcare delivery, and stressed that physiotherapy had become an integral part of the health delivery system in the country.
Mr Seini observed that the effective role that physiotherapists played came to bear in recent times in the rehabilitation of persons with prolonged COVID-19 infections, who after getting infected with the deadly disease, had long term complications that affected their health, and the services of physiotherapists were within reach to address the challenges.
The President of the Ghana Physiotherapy Association, Dr Paul Amankonah, said arthritis, was a major global health problem and one of the major causes of disability among the adult population, and disclosed that its prevalence had doubled over the past three decades, which increased from 247 million in 1990 to 527 million in 2019 globally.
Dr Amankonah explained that normally arthritis affected people above the age of 40, but the unfortunate development in Ghana was that people under the age of 40 years were being inflicted with the devastating disorders, and was commonly found in women who were divorced or separated.
He, however, said there was hope because measures could be employed to minimise the risk of arthritis, which included maintaining a healthy weight, controlling sugar and regular physical activities.
Dr Amankonah said with quality physiotherapy care, the burden of arthritis on the people would reduce drastically in the country.
He said the problem in the health sector was the low penetration of physiotherapy services, especially in the rural areas, and globally, the recommended physiotherapist to patient ratio was one to 500 patients, however in Ghana the ratio was one to 100,000 patients.
The Administrator at the Worawora Government Hospital, Mr Kingsley Effah, said the hospital which currently served as the Oti Regional referral facility, had only one physiotherapist with inadequate equipment.
He appealed to the government to equip the 110-bed facility, providing healthcare to about 196,000 population.
Dr Amankonah said it served four adjourning districts of Krachi-East, Jasikan, Kajebi and Biakoye districts in addition to referral cases from other parts of the Oti Region.
FROM SAMUEL AGBEWODE, WORAWORA