The Ghana Health Service is asking Ghanaians to maintain healthy lifestyles such as eating locally produced foods, less oil, and exercising so as to boost their immune system against the coronavirus.
The Health Promotion Division of the service plans to roll out a new programme which will profile Ghanaians based on their health status and link them to the National Health Insurance Scheme in order to provide the needed help on time.
It is one way the service says it is using to reduce the number of persons dying from non-communicable diseases.
In its latest report, the Ghana Health Service announced six new deaths, raising the country’s Covid-19 death toll from 129 to 135.
Three males and three females died in the latest report, two each from Northern and Central regions, one from Oti and Western regions. Whilst one – a 44 year old man from the Northern Region had no co-morbidities, the rest died of one form of underlying condition or the other.
Stroke, Hypertension, Kidney disease and a new cause: postpartum infection – a disease which can develop after delivery of a baby, accounted for the latest deaths.
Until now, postpartum infections and stroke had not been identified among the co-morbidities afflicting Covid-19 patients, raising concern about how non-communicable diseases are contributing to Ghana’s Covid-19 deaths.
Director of Health Promotion at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Dacosta Aboagye says the latest data adds to an already worrying statistics recorded since the outbreak of Sars-Cov-2
“Majority of the deaths that we have recorded in this country came from co-morbidities, underlying conditions; and most of these underlying conditions tend to be the non-communicable diseases; hypertension, diabetes and the others. So we certainly have to step up education on these non-communicable diseases with emphasis on diabetes, hypertensions, and the cancers.”
Though no new death was reported from the Ashanti Region, it remains the region with the highest number of deaths – contributing nearly half of the country’s Covid-19 deaths.
Dr. Aboagye says a high powered medical team, led by the Director General of the Service is already in Kumasi to investigate the trend.
“As we speak there is a team trying to investigate what is actually happening in the Ashanti region. The Director-General himself, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye is there.”
He wants a new programme dubbed the ‘Wellness Clinic’ to be rolled out across the country to help deal with the increasing cases of non-communicable diseases.
“This programme will provide a platform for every Ghanaian to at least check their health ones a year. This data can actually be linked to the National Health Insurance data and it will help us in reducing the non-communicable diseases before the next epidemic.”