Healthy Heart campaign launched at Odumase Krobo

Odumase Krobo, Sept 7, GNA - Family Healthy International (fhi) 360, a non-governmental organization, on Thursday launched a healthy heart campaign at Odumase Krobo under the theme “From Your Heart to Theirs.”

The campaign is targeted at female heads of households.

The objective of the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) prevention campaign is to increase awareness of the impact of lifestyle choices on CVD risk and to increase demand for behaviours that lower risk factors including healthy eating and increased physical activity.

Dr Henry Nagai, Country Director, fhi 360, in launching the campaign said malaria, HIV, tuberculosis (TB), chest infections and diarrheas, especially in children, were common diseases in Ghana and other developing countries.

Dr Nagai expressed worry that most health facilities do not have the requisite staff and equipment to provide services related to chronic diseases.

“We found the same situation in Atua and Police Hospitals during our assessment of the capacity of these hospitals to deliver optimum cardiovascular and other chronic diseases services”.

He mentioned chronic or non-communicable diseases as diseases related to the heart and blood vessels or CVD and these include heart disease, high blood pressure or hypertension and stroke.

Others are diabetes and its complications, many cancers such as breast and cervical cancers in women, liver cancer and prostate cancer in men.

Dr Nagai said chronic diseases are the most important cause of death worldwide - every six out of 10 people who die in the world will be from chronic diseases.

He said the campaign would focus on diseases of the heart because heart diseases account for 60% of the global burden of chronic diseases.

“Most of the behaviours and factors that lead to heart disease also contribute to other chronic diseases. For example overweight and obesity contributes to both diabetes and heart disease,” he said.

He said Ghana, like most developing countries, was experiencing increases in hypertension, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use and CVD. The national prevalence of adult hypertension is 29%, obesity 15% and diabetes six%.

Dr Alexander Osei Bonsu, the Medical Superintendent in charge of the Atua Government Hospital, said out of 6,857 people screened from August 2011 to March this year, 1,820 were found to be overweight. Out of that number, 3,192 were hypertensive, representing 47%.