Friday, 19 July

Rising Non-Communicable Diseases in Accra: Cardiovascular issues leading cause of death among aged and middle-aged

Health News
The current situation at Makola in Accra

Cases of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Accra are rapidly increasing, with cardiovascular ailments emerging as a leading cause of death among the aged and middle-aged populations.

 This alarming trend was disclosed by Dr. Abena Okoh, the Metropolitan Director of Health Services.

Dr. Okoh highlighted that NCDs, often chronic respiratory diseases, tend to persist over long periods. 

She attributed the rise in these diseases to environmental pollution and unhealthy lifestyles, emphasizing the urgent need for preventive measures.

Hypertension: A Major Concern

Dr. Okoh revealed that hypertension has consistently been the fifth leading cause of death in Accra for three consecutive years, from 2021 to 2023. 

The health facilities in Accra recorded a total of 38,826 hypertension cases during this period, with 12,451 cases in 2021, 12,671 in 2022, and 13,704 in 2023.

Other NCDs on the Rise

Asthma was the second most common NCD, with cases increasing from 1,364 in 2021 to 2,112 in 2022, before slightly dropping to 1,661 in 2023. 

Cardiac diseases also showed significant numbers, with 418 cases in 2021 and 249 in 2022. Stroke cases rose dramatically from 187 in 2021 to 304 in 2022.

Environmental Pollution and Women's Health

Dr. Okoh stressed the impact of environmental pollution on health, particularly in James Town, where many women engage in fish smoking using firewood. 

This traditional practice exposes them to high risks of lung cancer and other chronic respiratory diseases. 

She urged these women to adopt clean cookstoves to mitigate health risks.

Preventable Deaths

Over the past three years, approximately 200 Accra residents have died from cardiovascular diseases. 

Dr. Okoh assured that many deaths from NCD are preventable. 

She called on communities and policymakers to implement measures to reduce environmental pollution and promote healthier lifestyles.

Dr. Okoh's comments were made in response to an Adom News report highlighting the benefits of clean cookstoves, which many fishmongers find unaffordable. 

She reiterated the importance of investing in such preventive tools to enhance public health.

This alarming rise in NCDs calls for immediate action from both the government and the public to address the underlying causes and improve the overall health and well-being of Accra’s residents

Source: Mensah