Okwapeman Senior High School in the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region last Saturday won the finals of this year's National Schools Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Quiz contest in Accra.
They scored 38 points to clinch the ultimate prize, defeating the Achimota School, Aburi Girls School and Wesley Grammar School to second, third and fourth places respectively.
Three contestants each from the four contesting school from the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions answered three rounds of five questions, which centered on causes and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
For wining the ultimate prize, Okwapeman Senior High School took home a TV set and a DVD player. Achimota School had a TV set whilst Aburi Girls and Wesley Grammar had DVD player and a rice cooker,respectively.
Addressing the audience, Dr Francis Kwamin of the Ghana Health Service and a lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School said the main objective of the quiz is to impact the knowledge of cardiovascular diseases to the youth before they mature.
'This will enable the youth to make informed choices based on the knowledge they acquire about the disease as they grow', he added.
Dr Kwamin disclosed that efforts to impart attitude change on adults who are living with CVD is not yielding any significant results because most of them might have formed the habits of smoking and other lifestyles which are inimical to the management and reduction of the diseases.
He explained that, expert upon consultation decided to deal with the youth, many of whom are not engrossed in some of these habits to make the needed change as they grow.
The second objective of the quiz, Dr Kwamin said, is to demystify medicine and make it easy for people to read and understand things related to their health,stating that CVDs are expensive and number one killer in the world, especially in developing countries.
The Deputy Regional Director of Education, Greater Accra,Mrs Mary L. Quaye also advised the youth to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid contracting the CVD.
She said 'Whatever has transpired here is what the sponsors expected the world to know about the disease, and if the youth apply all the knowledge they acquired here, they will not only save a lot of money, they would have spent on managing the disease, but will channel that into infrastructural development'.
Dr Frank Umeh, medical co-ordinator, Nigeria/Ghana zone of Sanofi Aventis, sponsors of the quiz contest said cardiovascular disease is becoming a public health concern, and the global burden of this problem keeps increasing despite the fact that most of its risk factor can be controlled.
'Ignorance of these risk factors and preventive measures, especially in developing countries play a major role,', Dr Umeh said, adding that the effective way of increasing public awareness of cardiovascular diseases is through public lecturers, walks and seminars among others.
The national quiz programme on cardiovascular diseases, which was sponsored by Sanofi Aventis, is one of the best ways of increasing awareness among the youth, he added.