By Catherine Ahiador:
The issue of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension is on the increase across many parts of the developing world and Ghana has not been spared this canker. To address the large and increasing burden of hypertension in Ghana, FHI 360 in close collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and other partners are implementing a community-based Hypertension Improvement project, COMHIP.
The event formed part of the World Hypertension Day which fell on May 17. The COMHIP Projetc therefore in close collaboration with the Non-Communicable Disease Unit of the Ghana Health Service and the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Health Directorate held a community durbar to mark the day.
The theme for this year’s hypertension day celebration was ‘know your numbers’, which was demonstrated through a very educative drama, performed to educate the public to consistently visit the hospital or any health center to decrease the high spread of the disease. The importance of the program drew the attention of many dignitaries including the Director of the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, Lawyer Kofi Acheampong.
Mrs. Irene Offei, Municipal Director of Health, Dr. Antobre Boateng, District Director of Health, Nene Teye Darkli IV, Asafoatse of Susung, Manya Krobo Kpongunor, Nana Aplam II, Queen mother of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council among others, graced the occasion to mark the importance of the world hypertension day.
In his address, Mr. K.B. Acheampong pointed oute that the World Health Organization, WHO statistics paint a rather gloomy picture of how widespread hypertension is. According to him, WHO figures identify one out of every six people to be hypertensive, a situation that can be described as alarming.
He however maintained that being hypertensive is not the end of the road as patients stand the chance of living a healthy life if they stuck to the directives of their doctors.
Meanwhile, health statistics also point to the fact that women are contracting high blood pressure at a higher rate compared to men. In view of this, Madam Mary Gamor, an n ex-hypertension patient shared her experience on her how she was able to fight her condition.
She entreated hypertension patients to try their possible best to adhere to the intake of their drugs and also refrain from or limit the intake of alcohol, cigarettes, salt, etc. to maintain a healthy living. In the meantime, she advocated that sufferers maintain the intake of good and healthy food as they stick to their drugs.
The climax was a massive screening exercise carried out by nurses and doctors from the Ghana Health Service of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.