Hypertension, diabetes lead cause of death in GAR

Hypertension and diabetes were theleading cause of deaths recorded in the Greater Accra Region, last year.

Likewise, malaria continues to top the list of out-patient department (OPD) admissions in the region despite an increase intotalattendance from 5.2 million in 2021 to 5.3 million by the end of2022.

The Regional Health Director, Dr Charity Sarpong, who made the disclosure saidthe increase in cardiovascular diseases in the region called for intensifiedcollective efforts by all stakeholders to control the public health threat.

“We intend to continue to strengthen our wellness clinics and support the implementation of the network of practice in the region so cases are picked up and treated early so as to prevent complications that may occur later in life if not properly managed,” she said.

DrSarpongwas speaking atthe opening of a two-day annual performance review meeting of the directorate in Accra yesterday on the theme; “Addressing healthcare delivery gaps for equity in health coverage through intensifying health promotion interventions, optimising the use of data and technology to improve access to quality healthcare and strengthening preventive and control measures for emergent and re-emergent public health events.”

DrSarpong noted a general improvement in the region’s health indicators, including Antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage, decline in tuberculosis (TB) fatality, increase in family planning methods and antenatal visits among others.

“Total deliveries increased by 2.8 per cent from 113,497 in 2021 to 113,819 in 2022 and Maternal Mortality Rate reduced from 165 per 100,000 in 2021 to 155 per 100,000 in 2022.

Still births rate also declined by 0.5 per cent, reduction from 12.5 per cent in 2021 to 12 per cent in 2022 whiles institutional neonatal mortality saw a reduction from 15 per1000 live births in 2021 to 12 per 1000 births in 2022 representing a 15.4 per cent decrease in the previous year’s figure,” she added.

The Regional Health Director, said despite the achievement of the region challenges of COVID-19 vaccination coverage, lack of office space and vehicles as well as staff attrition, remained.

Nonetheless, she said the health directorate was committed to building a resilient health care system that was responsive to the healthcare needs of the people in the region and effectively handle emerging public health emergencies.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, expressed worry over the high attrition rate of health workers in the region to seek for greener pastures.

Again, he raised concern over low adherence to preventive measures against infectious diseases among health workers accounting for high rate of infection rate among them in recent disease outbreaks recorded in the country.

“We have clusters of influenza, and only recently, we have Lassa fever. Though I am happy with our Public Health emergency response systems in place, I must reiterate that our responses will be meaningless until we can harness the needed resources to improve the services we provide, notwithstanding the ravaging impact of these emerging and re-emerging diseases,” he started.


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