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Hypertension Beats HIV/AIDS As Leading Cause Of Death in Eastern Region

Hypertension emerged top of the 10 causes of death at the Eastern Regional Hospital in 2018, according to statistics provided by the facility. Out of the 943 deaths recorded at the hospital last year, hypertension accounted for 210, as against 139 in 2017.

Deaths due to HIV and AIDS and retroviral infections were 207, making it the second cause of loss of lives, while cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) accounted for the demise of 107 people. 
 
Eighty-one others died from birth asphyxia; 77 from chronic liver cirrhosis; 69 from septicaemia/sepsis and 61 from pneumonia.

The rest were kidney diseases, 44 deaths; diabetes mellitus, 43, and prematurity of babies, 37.
 
Event

In a media interaction to highlight some of the successes and challenges encountered at the facility in Koforidua last Friday, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Kwame Anim-Boamah, said the facility also recorded 36 maternal deaths in 2018, compared to 39 in 2017.

“Out of the 36 maternal deaths, 31, representing 86.1 per cent, were cases referred from other health facilities in the region, with two expectant mothers brought in already dead,” he added.

Admission cases
 
Touching on the leading causes of admission to the hospital in 2018, Dr Anim-Boamah mentioned malaria, which accounted for 1, 521 cases; anaemia,1,422; sepsis/septicaemia, 1,145; hypertension 1,131; pneumonia 960; jaundice 703 and 640 urinary tract infections (UTIs).

The others, he said, were 628 gastroenteritis cases; 623 hernia and 445 cases of prematurity.

Advice
 
Dr Anim-Boamah advised Ghanaians, including hypertensive patients, to have regularcheckups and also adhere strictly to their medications, since the disease was a silent killer.

He also asked some male patients who had the perception that regular intake of their medications could reduce their libido to disabuse their minds of that.

“If you do not take your medication, you may die from hypertension, even though you may think you are enjoying sex now.
 
“If you have hypertension, it is not a disease that just goes away by taking any medication within one week. It stays with you for a long period of time and so it is important for you to regularly take your medicine,” the director emphasised.

Dr Anim-Boamah said efforts were being made by the management and staff of the hospital to improve on healthcare services in the region.

“We will continue to strive for excellence and quality, in keeping with our motto, and continue to make our patients our focus,” he said.

Initiatives

Dr Anim-Boamah further indicated that although the hospital was yet to receive its National Health Insurance claims for the past eight months, it had been able to use its internally generated funds to successfully expand the male medical ward.

It had also reduced congestion at the adult Outpatients Department (OPD) and the Casualty Ward, he said.