Health authorities in the Ashanti Region are scaling up interventions to reduce rising cases of hypertension especially among young adults in the region.
Officials have attributed the trend to lifestyle modification in young people who are either not aware of having the disease or do not visit the hospitals to report the symptoms.
Cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, account for most deaths associated with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2018, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) accounted for 42% of deaths in Ghana with premature mortality due to NCDs at 20%.
Approximately, 17.9 million people in the world die annually from hypertension.
In Ghana, awareness creation for hypertension is very low with only 37% of women and 14% of men aware of their high blood pressure status.
Hypertension was also one of the leading co-morbidities at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 106,626 cases of hypertension were recorded in the Ashanti Region for the year 2020 making it one of the highest in the country.
Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Emmanuel Tenkonrang at a media engagement to commemorate World Hypertension Day in Kumasi, expressed worry about how young adults are contracting the disease.
“Hypertension is associated with lifestyle. Unfortunately, if you look at the young adults, most of them have their BMI at about 30. There is a lot to do as far as lifestyle modification of young people in this country is concerned. Most of our young people, by the virtue of their work, do not walk even for one kilometre in a day. The problem is basically due to the lifestyle modification we talked about”, he explained.
He advised young people to always check their Blood Pressure, their dieting and also do a lot of exercises especially walking.
Dr. Tenkonrang further indicated that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is committed to reducing the burden of hypertension in the Ashanti Region and Ghana as a whole.
The GHS is collaborating with its partners such as Healthy Heart Africa Program being implemented by PATH Ghana with funding from AstraZeneca to address the challenge.
Ghana joined the rest of the world to mark Hypertension Day on Monday, 17th May, 2021.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has set up wellness clinics to check the Blood Pressure of people and also create awareness of the disease.
A Senior Technical Advisor in Non-Communicable Diseases with PATH Ghana, Dr. Robert Yeboah, advised individuals with hypertension to desist from resorting to the use of herbal medicines in treating the disease.
“The advice for those who have been diagnosed already is for them to adhere to treatment. Unfortunately, we have a lot of information about herbal mixtures which supposedly can cure hypertension. Hypertension cannot be cured; it can be controlled. So I would advise that we adhere to our treatment, the lifestyle modification, cutting down on the alcohol, the smoking and all of that”.
The theme for this year’s World Hypertension Day was “Measure your blood pressure accurately, control it, live longer”.