Category Archives: Health

Girls must delay first sexual experience – Gynaecologist

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An obstetrician gynaecologist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has described unprotected sex and unintended pregnancy as career destructive agents and dream killers.

He says girls need to be guided and encouraged to delay their first sexual experience to enable them prepare adequately for their future.

Dr Ernest Puni Kwarko was speaking at a mentoring and coaching seminar for girls in senior high schools in Kumasi.

The seminar attracted about five hundred female senior high students from various schools.

Dr Kwarko stated, “Young girls need mentoring to prepare them properly into adulthood. These girls must be encouraged to develop their skills and careers to make them economically independent”.

He noted delayed sexual experience and pregnancy reduce the risk of cervical cancer, hence the need to educate the girl on adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

“Young girls must be made to understand that part of their normal physiology is to crave for sex and if not careful there can be an accidental unprotected pregnancy. So we have to mentor and encourage them and give them all the tit bits about how to delay their first sexual experience”.

Dr Kwarko explained that “if girls are able to delay their first sexual experience, it reduces their chances of getting cervical cancer”.

The President of the Ghana-US Department of State Alumni Association, Nana Yaa Appiah, said girls should be given the opportunity to make informed decisions and develop through mentoring and coaching.

“Young girls must be afforded the opportunity to develop their potentials in order to be independent and contribute towards societal growth. Women need to be encouraged to make decisions for themselves and overlook certain underlined subcultures that draws them backward”.

Nana Yaa Appiah said the mentorship programme will be extended to all senior high schools across the country.

The seminar, which was organised by Ghana-US Department of State Alumni Association, was to assist the girls to identify their strength, improve their thinking patterns, remove limiting beliefs, and to clarify their goals and purpose in life.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|TV3||Ghana

Pharmaceutical Society warns against high use of Tramadol among Ghanaian youth

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The FDA-approved Tramadol is 50mg and 100mg capsules

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana has expressed concerns over the rising intake of Tramadol among youth of Ghana.

It says even though the drug has been approved in Ghana, the strengths in circulation is more than the prescribed 50mg and 100mg oral capsules.

A statement issued by the Society’s President, Njamin Botwe, said the proliferation of the drug “has the tendency to threaten the gains made in the provision of healthcare in the country”.

Tramadol is a prescription-only medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain.

When taken, it works on the nervous system and the brain to reduce the feeling of pain.

There are many different forms, strengths and brands of Tramadol.

Some are immediate release formulations that start working quickly to ease the pain, while others are sustained or delayed release thus releasing the active moiety, Tramadol more slowly, over several hours, to provide a constant and more even pain control.

“It has been noted in Ghana that, this high dose tramadol is mostly found in highly populated and concentrated areas including markets and lorry stations in some parts of the country.”

The Society asked addicts to seek help.

It cautioned “the youth who take it for recreation because of its euphoric effect to stop, as the long-term implication could have dire consequences on their health”.

It said it should only be taken on a medical doctor’s prescription.

“We therefore call on the general public to report any sale of tramadol outside of licensed pharmacies to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA)/ Pharmacy Council offices across the country while also calling on teachers, parents and care-givers to be on the lookout for suspected behaviors of their students, children and wards.

“For patients who are receiving treatment with prescribed tramadol, we wish to encourage you to always present your prescriptions at licensed Pharmacies and demand to speak with the Pharmacist on the dangers and possible side effects of tramadol before taking it.”


Researchers have developed fast, paper-based tuberculosis test

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Scientists have developed a fast, paper-based test to diagnose tuberculosis that can be read with a smartphone, a technology that is increasingly available in emerging economies.

Diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) early can allow patients to receive the medicine they need and also help prevent the disease from spreading.

However, in resource-limited areas, equipment requirements and long wait times for results are obstacles to diagnosis and treatment.

But Dr Chien-Fu Chen from the National Taiwan University and colleagues have come up with a more practical diagnostic test that can be read with a smartphone, a release to the Ghana News Agency said.

The researchers combined gold nanoparticles with fluorescent single-stranded DNA sequences that bind to the genetic material of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause TB.

These nanoparticles were then incorporated into a paper-based device. Adding even a minute amount of lab-derived, double-stranded DNA from M tuberculosis changed the colour of the test spots within an hour.

It said a smartphone camera was used to analyse the colour change to determine the bacterial concentration.

The researchers also tested a tissue sample from an infected patient to further demonstrate that the device could be used in the field.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2015, 1.4 million people died from TB, with most of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, researchers said.

It said early diagnosis could help curb these numbers. However, conventional methods such as sputum smear microscopy, chest X-rays and molecular-based tests require equipment, electricity and specialised personnel that are not always available in remote or developing areas. The research was published in the journal ACS Sensors.

Source: GNA | Ghana

Prof Akosa calls for research into health implications of galamsey

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A typical galamsey site

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, former Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has called for research into the health implications of heavy metals used by illegal miners on the various rivers in the country.

He  said  it  is not all the people staying downstream of the polluted rivers who could afford to depend  on sachet water and the country needed to know the effect of the polluted water on those who drunk it, to enable the country to prepare for its implications before the country was taken by surprise.

Prof. Akosa was speaking at the formal opening of the 15th Annual General Meeting of the Medical Superintendents Group at Koforidua.

He said when the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was introduced, it was meant to provide only 15 per cent of the financial support for health care at the health facilities, but all of a sudden, the 85 per cent of the financial support from government had been withdrawn and called for the return of the 85 per cent of government support for the health facilities to enable them have sufficient resource to provide better health services.

He called on the Ministry of Health (MOH) to come out with the human resource targets for the provision of the required standard of health care that the country required and work towards its achievement.

Prof. Akosa expressed his support for the employment of health personnel by the District and Regional Directorates of the Health Service to ensure fair distribution of health personnel across the country.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service and a member of the National Health Insurance Board, Dr Nsiah Asare called on Medical Superintendents to support the government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

He said since January this year, the government had paid 800 million Ghana Cedis of Health Insurance claims.

Dr Asare said Ghana Health Service was to monitor the submission of NHI claims and payments and offered support to ensure that no health facility suffered rejection of their NHIS claims.

He said the GHS was still talking to the Ministry of Finance for the review of the requirement that a certain percentage of the Internally Generated Fund should be paid to government chest.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the National President of the Medical Superintendent Group, Dr Ofori Boadu called for the review of the financial regulation that public health facilities should pay 34 per cent of their IGF to government chest.

He explained that, the regulation was denying the health facilities of funds for rendering better health care to their clients.

He called for the review of service conditions of Medical Superintendents to ensure that they were provided with what was due them.

Source: GNA | Ghana

24 inmates test HIV positive at Kumasi Prison, TB outbreak looms

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A total of 24 inmates at the Kumasi Central Prison have tested positive for HIV, the Ashanti Regional Prisons Commander, DDP Lord Nii Boye Tagoe has revealed.

He said considering the mode of transmission, the inmates contracted the disease before they came to the Prison especially so as they are barely six months there.

“From indications, they are from outside. They are less than six months when we tested them and they are positive. To follow the HIV mode of transmission, it is not from here,” he revealed Friday.

He said this when the Member of Parliament for Subin, Eugene Antwi made a donation to the inmates at the Prison.

Statistics shows that between 2012 and 2017, the Prison has recorded 43 HIV cases of which 19 have since been discharged.

DDP Tagoe said the 24 inmates left have since been put on anti-retroviral drugs but did not give further details on measures being taken by the Prison to ensure other inmates do not contract the disease.

Tuberculosis outbreak looms

Meanwhile, DDP Tagoe has warned of a possible tuberculosis outbreak at the Prison if immediate steps are not taken to decongest the place.

Authorities fear congestion at the Prison could lead to TB outbreak

He said a total of 57 cases of tuberculosis have been recorded between 2012 and 2017 of which 27 of the affected inmates have been discharged.

Currently, 30 inmates have contracted tuberculosis, noting that 11 of them are on medication but their situation, according to DDP Tagoe, has not been the best as they do not get enough food to augment boost their immune system to augment the medication.

He underscored the need for the prison to be relocated due to congestion, noting that though it was built to house 200 inmates, it currently have 450 inmates and sometimes take up to 600 inmates.

He observed the issue of congestion was causing inmates to contract the tuberculosis, noting ventilation has also not been the best. If not checked, he said, the situation could escalate and lead to an outbreak.

 By Kwadwo Antwi Boasiako|Akoma FM||Ghana

KATH hit by acute shortage of doctors, new emergency admissions suspended

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The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi has been hit by acute shortage of medical doctors, forcing the hospital authorities to prioritise only emergency cases.

New emergency cases have however been suspended. Authorities say they are currently concentrating on inpatient care for the over 250 patients on admission.

A total of 150 junior doctors have since the beginning of September this year left the hospital after a year of housemanship but are yet to be replaced.

The situation, according to KATH authorities, is having a toll on the few senior medical staff at the tertiary health facility in the Ashanti region and has forced them to scale down on out-patient-department and non-emergency cases.

“This action has become necessary because of the acute shortage of doctors in the directorate,” a memo from the KATH dated September 12 stated.

The memo stated that further admission into the Hospital will endanger the lives of patients and impede the provision of quality care.

Patients showed up at the Hospital Thursday to see their doctors had to wait for about five hours because some doctors at the consulting rooms had been moved to attend to emergency cases at the various wards

Public Relations Officer of the Hospital, Kwame Frimpong, told Kumasi-based Akoma FM Thursday that about 170 new doctors who are to replace those who left are yet to be given financial clearance by the Finance Ministry before they could be given appointment.

He said management of the hospital met Wednesday and it was resolved that the various clinics and departments focus on emergency cases in view of the situation at hand.

“We are expecting that where the problem is very pronounced, the medical directorate has to scale down on non-emergency and OPD cases,” he said.

He said the situation has been communicated to the Ministry of Health and efforts were being worked on to ensure that new doctors are employed.

“We are hopig that in matter of a week or two, this issue will be resolved and all directorates will be in the position to resume the provision of full service,” Mr Frimpong assured.

A doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity said the absence of thejunior doctors who form the backbone of the healthcare delivery system at the teaching hospital has put “a huge strain on the few senior colleagues around.

“Some departments and directorates have been forced to reduce their services since they don’t have the capacity to sustain full scale work without the junior house officers,” the doctor added.

The doctor urged government to expedite action on the issuance of financial clearance for the junior house officers to be employed.

By Antwi Boasiako|Akoma FM||Ghana

Korle Bu begins installation of CCTV cameras

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Ghana’s foremost health center Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has begun the installation of video surveillance at various parts of the facility in efforts to curb crime.

This comes in the wake of the hitting of a laboratory technician by a stray bullet.

The incident, which occurred on Monday, has engendered anxiety among staff as regards their security.

But checks on Wednesday made by 3FM’s Sarah Parku revealed that the closed-circuit television cameras are being installed all over.

The installation works have begun at the administration block and the corridor through to the Public Relations department, 3FM’s reporter said on Midday News.

The installation will be done with entirely by close of the year, she added.

The exercise is to beef up security at the hospital.

Separately, the police are yet to come out with findings so far in investigations into last Monday’s shooting.

Almost all officers at the Hospital are tight-lipped on the incident, Sarah Parku reported.

Meanwhile, the lab technician, Solomon Quarshie, is responding to treatment.

But his colleagues have expressed disappointment in the Hospital’s authorities for the apparent lack of urgency in addressing the issues days after it happened.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Services said: “The response to the emergency situation and the expected assurances from the management of the nation’s tertiary hospital has not been acceptable as expressed by the entire staff of the Central Laboratory in an emergency meeting on the 12th of September 2017 at 09:30 GMT”.


FOCOS Hospital announces 5th anniversary celebrations

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Some of the hardworking surgeons at FOCOS

Foundation of Orthopaedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS) on Tuesday announced its five years’ anniversary celebration of opening their 70-bed specialist orthopaedic hospital, FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital, located in Pantang, Accra.

The celebrations will start from September 16, 2016.

Birthed out of a volunteer mission founded by renowned Spine Surgeon Prof Oheneba Boachie-Adjei in 1998, FOCOS initially conducted clinics at the Trust Hospital and rented operating rooms at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to conduct complex spine and joint replacement surgeries.

Subsequently, the Foundation secured the “Watson House” in East Legon, where it offered specialist consultation as an Out-Patient-Department (OPD) Facility, in addition to rented operating rooms.

With its affiliation to the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York and the help of some philanthropic partners, FOCOS established a state-of-the art facility at Pantang in 2012.

Since the establishment of the facility, FOCOS Orthopaedic Hospital has provided premium patient-centered care, to over 43,000 patients suffering from various degrees of complex spine and joint conditions.

The hospital has also undertaken over 2000 corrective surgeries over the years.

“Every employee and patient at FOCOS has contributed to the success of this facility,” said Founder and President of FOCOS, Prof Oheneba Boachie-Adjei.

He was also grateful to benefactors who made the vision of establishing such a monumental health facility in Africa possible.

“It’s been five years since we moved into our own facility and we will remain focused in delivering premium orthopaedic care to our patients,” Prof Boachie-Adjei added.

Activities for the anniversary celebrations include: a health walk, an open house for the general public to receive free orthopaedic consultation and tour the hospital, a blood drive and fun games, all of which would be climaxed with a thanksgiving service.

At its inception, the hospital’s mission was to provide optimum orthopaedic care and improve quality of life in Ghana and other countries.

This has seen the hospital and its Founder and President, receive several accolades, like the ‘Excellence in African Healthcare Innovation for Musculoskeletal Disorders & Spine Deformity Award’, at the African Governance & Corporate Leadership Forum 2016, organized in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Mrs. Leticia Osei-Poku, called on corporate organizations to support the Hospital’s anniversary celebrations.

“As a non-profit organization, FOCOS has contributed immensely towards the healthcare needs of many individuals across the globe. Corporate organizations should consider sponsoring needy patients who require complex spine surgeries, as their Corporate Social Responsibility in future,” she added.

Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility is sponsoring the FOCOS Fun Games with its flagship soft drink, Orijin Zeero.

Over the past five years, FOCOS Hospital has given back to society through routine discounts to patients, having quarterly collaborations with the National Blood Bank to organize blood drives and organizing fundraising events to support needy children who require complex spine surgery.

In addition, FOCOS Hospital delivers free lectures on healthy living, to corporate organizations and screens public schools for early cases of spine deformities.

The hospital also offers diagnostic services, family medicine, dietetics and nutrition services, a full spectrum of physiotherapy and pharmacy services, serving the hospital’s patients and the community.

FOCOS has full accreditation to run residency and fellowship programmes in Anaesthesia and Orthopedics, by the Boards of Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons (GCPS) and West Africa College of Surgeons (WACS).


Nursing and Midwifery examination to be done online from 2018

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Licencing examination of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana will from July next year be conducted online.

The new online system, according to the Council, is to ease the laborious processes associated with the manual system, as well as strengthen the examination capacity of the council.

Registrar of the Council, Felix Nyante, announced this at the Council’s 2017 mid-year review at Nsuta in the Ashanti region.

He said the Dutch government has provided grant to the Council to revamp its examination processes and procedures.

He said the grant is also to support the Council to strengthen its organizational capacity to conduct efficient, effective and credible licensing examination.

Mr Nyante noted the Council wants to focus on ICT deployment to accelerate on performance.

Felix Nyante

“We want to rest on ICT infrastructure to accelerate our performance. We want to see a situation where nurses and midwives can sit in their offices, homes, and various hospitals to log on unto our website and renew their license” he said.

He was confident the online licencing examination would make the Council more effective and efficient.

Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, Dr Afisah Zakariah, commended the Council for its effort to introduce the online licencing examination next year.

“The ministry is happy that the Council in collaboration with a consortium in the Netherlands called CINOP Global will be introducing the online licencing examination in 2018. This will ease the laborious processes engaged in the old manual system and make licensing examination in Ghana a trustworthy one”, she said.

She entreated the Council to work closely with the health training institutions and the service delivery agencies to uphold nursing and midwifery standards and practices at all levels.

Dr Zakariah tasked the Council to ensure that schools seeking for accreditation meet the all criteria before being issued accreditation.

“All new schools seeking for accreditation must meet all standards and criteria before given accreditation to run. Similarly, all existing schools that are lagging behind in terms of meeting the standards are made to satisfy the Council’s rules”.

The mid-year performance review conference brought together all regional representatives of the Nursing and Midwifery Council to deliberate and share ideas on achievements and challenges to enable them strategize for a more improved future.

The conference was on the theme “Peak Performance”.

By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana

Doctor amputates legs of 2 people without consent; families agitate for probe

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Two motorbike accident victims, who had their legs amputated at the Central Regional Hospital in Winneba under what they termed questionable circumstances, are demanding a probe into the matter.

The two, Jacob Mensah, 25, and Isaac Amankwaa Annor, 33, were sent to the Hospital on a referral from the Kasoa Hospital after their motorbike collided at Denkyira near Kasoa, and sustained leg injuries.

According to their family members, a medical doctor who was on duty at the time, George Kwame Prah, told them the legs of the two would have to be amputated but they kicked against that decision.

Albert Mensah, whose 25-year-old brother was a victim, told Onua FM Wednesday that his brother was conscious and the family resisted Dr. Prah’s attempt to amputate the leg.

For them, he explained the level of the injury was not deadly to warrant amputation, hence cautioned the doctor against his decision.

He said they informed the doctor to treat the injury as they intended on resorting to alternative medicine to heal him upon discharge from the Hospital.

Albert Mensah claimed Dr Prah agreed and they were made to pay GHC10 and GH70 for bandage and medicine respectively.

Unknown to them, he alleged that his brother and the other victim were taken to the theatre where they were sedated, and had their legs amputated without a verbal or written consent from either the victims or their families.

According to him, when they realised the legs of the victims have been amputated, he personally confronted Dr. Prah but he refused to explain his action.

He also said the doctor refused to give or let the family see the amputated leg when they demanded for it.

The family members of the victims are raising red flag over the professional conduct of Dr. Prah in the matter and demanding investigation into it and where necessary, appropriate sanctions applied.

Hospital admits but…

When contacted, Dr. Prah who is also the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital confirmed the allegation that consent was not sought before the Hospital amputated the legs of the two victims.

Dr Kwame Prah [Middle]

He said the victims were brought to the Hospital with an “unknown” status, meaning their relative were not around, which he said was the reason why consent could not be sought.

At a meeting with the relatives of one of the victims in his office Thursday evening, Dr. Prah denied that he was the doctor who performed the amputation operation but declined to name the said doctor.

However, when the relatives left his office, he admitted to our reporter to having performed the operation “to save their lives”.

Dr. Prah pointed out that the opinion of the family members that the injury sustained by their relative was not life threatening couldn’t be medically correct.

He also declined to give further details on the matter, claiming that the Hospital authorities have not given him the clearance to speak on the matter.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM||Ghana