Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cardiovascular diseases emerging to become one of the most dramatic incoming epidemics

Cardiovascular diseases are emerging progressively to become one of the most dramatic incoming epidemics in the next two decades in Ghana.
According to Professor Charles A. Yankah, a Physician and an Executive Board Member of the African Cultural Institute of Berlin, the situation would be alarming if measures were not taken to check its predisposing factors from getting higher.
He said the disease could soon succeed HIV infection as a major killer in the society if education for prevention was not well appreciated.
Speaking in Kumasi at the 4th African Heart Seminar, which aims at promoting cardiovascular health care education in Africa, Prof. Yankah said every third adult Ghanaian like African-Americans suffers from hypertension or diabetes.
“This is due to a positive change in the life-style among modern Africans”, he said.
He said it appears there was an increase in the incidence of hypertension and diabetes related heart failure and cardiovascular deaths, such as acute myocardial infection, stroke or aortic rupture which are occasionally also described as sudden death.
The Seminar was organisedn colloboration with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Christian Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and the African Cultural Institute of Berlin.
A Physician and a Professor at the Deutsche Herzentrum and Charite Medical University in Berlin, Germany, Prof Yankah said without concerted efforts and action to improve cardiovascular disease prevention and to develop a sustainable medical surgical programmes in regional hospitals, cardiovascular disease would undermine the socio economic development in African society.
He said because of the lack of intensive care in Ghana, if a person gets an intensive cardiac attack the probability of survival in Ghana was 10 percent as compared to 60 percent in Europe.
He said a diagnosis of heart failure once signalled imminent death, 50 percent of the victims diagnosed with it would be dead within five years or earlier.
He said there are many other diseases besides diabetes and hypertension that cause heart failure and cardiovascular death, heart muscle disease, electrical conduction disturbance, rheumatic heart disease and congenital heart disease.
Prof Yankah said the incidence of rheumatic and congenital heart diseases was also alarming and that it was higher among the rural than the urban population.
He called for the intensification of public education about the disease and added that until very recently there was not much documents and information on diseases associated with lifestyles since the perception was that the country's health problems were overwhelmingly those of infections and parasitic infections, malnutrition and disorders that impacted adversely on safe motherhood.
He therefore called on the various stakeholders in the health delivery sector to make cardiovascular diseases a major public health issue.
He said there was the need for the country to treat the disease as a public health importance and the necessary resources allocated.
He said the grown-ups with congenital heart disease for example is a paradigm of poor healthcare programme, medically and surgically in childhood and that those who survive childhood are at a constant risk of developing heart failure under stress and die.
He called on physicians to repeatedly and categorically point out the risk factors for developing heart diseases and stroke and also called for the avoidance of fatty foods and making regular exercise as prognostic factors for good health to reduce incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

1 comment:

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