Ghana should do more to fight rising stroke cases

Kumasi, A Neurologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr. Fred Stephen Sarfo, has called for the nation to make the fight against stroke and other non-communicable diseases an urgent priority

He said more should be done to efficiently manage stroke cases and save many from dying of the disease.

The referral facility, last year, saw in excess of 800 cases.

Dr. Sarfo, speaking at a public education forum held to mark this year’s world stroke day, indicated that 40 per cent of patients in the country ends up dying, with another 30 per cent returning home with paralysis.

Recognizing the risk factors of stroke was the theme chosen for this year’s event.

Dr. Sarfo complained about unavailability of drugs, the lack of vital equipment and absence of well-structured health systems to manage the disease.

These, he said, were to blame for the unacceptably high number of people dying from stroke.

He called for the establishment of stroke units and rehabilitation centres across the nation to give the needed care to patients.

Dr. Sarfo also spoke of the need to sensitize the people, especially those in their productive age, to be mindful of factors that could pre-dispose to the disease.

He mentioned some of these as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stress, lack of physical exercises, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

They should additionally go for regular check-ups and adopt healthy lifestyles to save themselves from getting stroke.

Stroke is not caused by witchcraft, it can be prevented by educating people on the risk factors to protect them and prevent death and disability.

Mrs. Gladys Ghansah, Principal Nursing Officer, appealed for strong support by way of the supply of equipment and space to properly handle stroke cases.

She announced that 233 out of the 369 patients admitted at the hospital between year 2014 and 2015, did not survive.

Earlier, the facility in partnership with Ernest Chemist, Menri Pharmacy, Medilab and Leo Medical and Beauty Supplies, organized free health screening for the public � to identify those with risk factors, offer advice and treatment.

Source: Ghana News Agency