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27.04.2006 General News

More Youth Diagnosed Of Hypertension

By The Ghanaian Times

YOUNG people between the ages of 20 and 25 are now being diagnosed for hypertension, says Dr Ivy Ekem, head of the Haematology Department of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Dr Ekem,who indicated that cases of hypertension were on the ascendancy in the country, attributed it mainly to a change in people's lifestyles, lack of exercises and imbalanced diet.

She was speaking at the launch of the third annual health week celebration of the University of Ghana Allied Health Students Association in Accra on Monday.

In spite of the increase, she said, there is an apparent lack of information as to the diagnostic and management modalities available to sufferers.

Dr Ekem suggested an improvement in the diet of people and regular physical exercises as a way of reversing the trend.

She also suggested that early detection, proper treatment and follow-ups were very important in keeping the disease low and advised the public to seek early treatment.

Yahans Kojo De-Heer, president of the Students' Representative Council of the School of Allied Health Sciences, said the theme, "Diagnosis and management of hypertension and cancer – The role of the allied health professional," was timely as it was to address the perception of lack of information on the diseases.

"The general lack of information even at the offices of the Ministry of Health Education Unit in Korle-Bu goes a long way to confirm this assertion", he said.

Mr De-Heer said there was an increase in the incidence of hypertension and deaths related to prostrate and cervical cancer because there was no readily available information sheet that would lead to some 'tell-tale' signs of these disease conditions, so that potential patients could seek early medical intervention.

The SRC president observed that the process of diagnosing and management of these conditions rested largely at the doorstep of the allied health professional but pointed out that resources for the training of these professionals were woefully inadequate.