Ghana records 613,633 hypertension cases in 2021

A total of 613,633 cases of hypertension were recorded in various health facilities across the country in 2021.

Similarly, more than 200,000 cases of diabetes were recorded during the year under review.

These two diseases are known as Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD), also called chronic diseases.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), NCDs are responsible for 71 per cent of all deaths worldwide.

In the few decades, NCDs have gained recognition in Ghana accounting for more than 43 per cent of all deaths in the country.

It also added that 28 to 40 per cent of the adult Ghanaian population has hypertension.

According to GHS, this could be attributed to multiple complex socio-economic, demographic factors including the rise in risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and tobacco use, among others.

The Acting Programme Manager, Non Communicable Diseases, (NCD), Dr Efua Commeh, described hypertension as a persistently abnormal blood pressure of 140 over 90 and above.

She said “people suffering from hypertension do not feel any symptoms making the diseases very dangerous.”

When the blood pressure starts going up, normally it does not show any symptoms so the person does not feel sick, there is no headache or dizziness so by the time they start feeling it, their blood pressure is very high and is beginning to give them problems,” Dr Commeh said

According to her, when hypertension is not detected on time, one could suffer from stroke, heart attack or failure, weakness and narrowed blood vessels which could affect the eye, kidney and other vital organs in the body.

Dr Commeh advised the public, especially the youth to adopt healthy life such as exercising and healthy food.

“Junk foods, alcohol, tobacco, sugars, too much salt intake are the things that ultimately get deposited in the blood vessels and before you realize, the vessels are getting blocked and then blood pressure has started rising so we have to avoid these things,” she said

Dr Commeh said persons already diagnosed with the disease should ensure that they take their prescribed medicine regularly to control their BP and also consult their doctors if there are issues with their medicines.

She advised people to undertake frequent check-ups for early detection of the disease, saying “you don’t need to wait until the problem has gotten out of hand but whiles you are well we advise that you keep on checking your blood pressure,”

With regards to diabetes, Dr Commeh said when one has diabetes, the person either could not make enough insulin or could not use his or her own insulin.

She said there were three types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Dr Commeh said type one diabetes had to do with lack of insulin production in children and type two, either the body does not make enough insulin or the body’s cells do not respond normally to the insulin and gestational diabetes often occurs during pregnancy.

She cautioned that diabetes could cause blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.

Dr Commeh said with diabetes, either one starts urinating a lot than normal, especially at night, urinate (pee) a lot, very thirsty, dizziness, blurry vision among others.

She said seven to 10 per cent of adult Ghanaian population has been found to have diabetes, and about 800 children were diagnosed with diabetes in three hospitals last year.

Dr Commeh said there was the need to cut down or reduce food that contained carbohydrates and replace it with more vegetables and fruits.

BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG

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