By Caleb Kuleke, GNA
Peki (V/R), Oct. 31, GNA- Mr Mark Kojo Atuahene, Acting Head of Public Health and Promotion, Ministry of Health (MoH), has said that stroke units staffed with qualified and experienced personnel were key in managing acute strokes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
He said the government was, therefore, taking steps to establish stroke rehabilitation centres across the country to improve the living conditions of the survivors.
The Acting Head said MoH, in collaboration with Stroke Association Support Network-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA), was developing the needed policies and guidelines for the establishment of systems for community-based healthcare of stroke and other NCDs, including prevention and early detection.
Mr Atuahene, speaking at this year’s World Stroke Day celebration at Peki in the South Dayi District of the Volta region, said the occurrence of stroke was unacceptably high around the world.
In Ghana, between 12,000 and 16,000 strokes are reported annually.
He said NCDs, including stroke, were national emergencies, which had been featured prominently in the National Health Policy.
Mr Atuahene said the Ministry was aware of the plight of stroke survivors after being discharged from hospitals to their various communities with multiple disabilities and no social, family and physical, psychological and financial support.
He said the country could face an uncertain future if nothing was done to prevent the occurrence of the disease among the young population, who were the country’s productive workforce.
The Acting Head said the effects of NCDs, including stroke, could never be overstated because they were life-long diseases, compelling the victims to spend the rest of their lives seeking medical care.
The situation, he said, also led to poverty as victims were unable to work effectively to earn income with some spending their lives savings seeking medical attention.
He said the Ministry would continue to collaborate with and support its partners to deliver accessibly, quality and affordable health care, both curative and preventive to the populace.
Mr Atuahene commended SASNET-GHANA for its life after stroke initiative and efforts to address issues of stroke in the country, adding that the MoH would continue to partner SASNET-GHANA and other like-minded organisations to combat NCDs.
Chief Dr Ben Jabuni, President of SASNET-GHANA, said the organisation would not relent in efforts to create awareness and encouraged citizens to take measures to prevent risk factors that could lead to stroke.
He said they were collaborating with MoH to establish 275 community life after stroke centres across the country and this would be done within five years.
Dr Jabuni disclosed that the first centre would be established in the Volta Region, saying the Region, including both the stroke survivors and other stakeholders, had been supportive of their work.
The President said the organisation was currently focusing on rehabilitating stroke survivors and working to influence the government to provide the survivors with the needed support.
Dr Jabuni said there were many stroke survivors across the country living in destitution and urged all to support them in their quest to improve the living conditions of these survivors in their various communities.