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24.09.2005 Health

MHOs called to include health education in their programmes

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Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - Dr Sam Adjei, the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, on Saturday called on managers of Mutual Health Organisations (MHOs) to include health education in their programmes.

He said such education programmes would also control the spread of many preventable diseases that are very common at Out Patients departments.

"If your people are thought how to keep a healthy life style, you will not have to spend so much to pay bills and you will keep your funds running".

Dr Adjei made the call at a press briefing in Accra to mark World Heart Day, which falls on Sunday 25 September. The Ghana Heart Society of Hypertension and Cardiology (GHSHC) will celebrate the day under the slogan, "A Heart for Life," in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service.

Activities on the day would include health checks, walks, runs, jump rope, fitness sessions, public talks, stage shows, science forums, and exhibitions and sports tournaments. Dr Adjei urged Ghanaians to do more exercises to burn down the calories and adopt proper eating habits to reduce the risk of heart diseases.

The day aims at encouraging the world population to lead a healthier lifestyle by taking more physical exercise and reducing the risk of heart diseases through smoke free living, healthy nutrition and weight control.

Dr Francis Kwami, Vice President of GHSHC, said maintaining a healthy weight and body shape dramatically reduced the risks of one having heart diseases and stroke.

He said throughout the world there were more overweight people and abdominal obesity, measured by the waist circumference, was an easy marker of cardiovascular risk.

"Your heart health is at risk not only by the amount of body fat but also where the fat is located. Excess abdominal fat is more resistant to the actions of insulin so body shape, specifically a large waist relative to the hip size, raises the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases", he added.

He explained that it was important that people were aware of their weight and the potential risk it could have on their heart and cautioned that men with waist sizes above 37 inches and women 32 inches should consider themselves as being at a significant risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Dr Kwami called on all, especially adults, to at least do 30 minutes brisk walking a day to help reduce the risk factors that might befall them.

"Adopt a balanced diet including plenty fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free products, unsaturated soft margarines and oils such as sunflower, corn, rape-seed and olive oil, lean meat, fish and pulses is the best".

Ms Brigitte Dzgbenuku, General Manager of the Aviation Social Centre Limited, called for re-instatement of physical education in basic schools so that at the tender age children would have the interest and love for physical exercise. 24 Sept 05

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