Accra, Oct 10, GNA – Dr Kwaku Dwuma-Badu, the Head, Medical Unit, Ghana Post, has called for the promotion of preventive healthcare services in the country.
He noted that there could be no greater truism in life than the old adage: “Prevention is Better than Cure”.
He said: “However, though we all know this, prior to the implementation of the ‘Prevention is Better than Cure project’ in 2015, preventive health services was not an integral part of the health delivery system in Ghana and provision of medical checkups by health facilities was on ad hoc basis and services were not sustained.”
He said most health institutions in Ghana still provide curative health care rather than preventive health care; adding that “Preventive health service and programmes currently available mainly focus on communicable diseases or infectious diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea”.
Dr Dwuma-Badu, who was speaking in Accra on World Post Day, said developing and lower middle income countries such as Ghana, however, were experiencing what was known as the double burden of diseases.
“In that whilst we still have been unable to minimise the threat from infectious diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea, we are now faced with a threat from diseases that were uncommon in the past but are now prevalent as a result of globalisation, changes in our behaviour and our diet,” he explained.
He said these conditions referred to as non-communicable diseases, which included hypertension, diabetics and cancer, were now a major burden on the economy and resulted in increased hospitalisation and deaths.
The World Post Day, on the theme ‘’Innovation, integration, and inclusion’’ was also used to commissioned the Ghana Post Preventive Healthcare Unit.
The Unit falls under a project called ‘’Prevent is Better than Cure’’ jointly implemented by GIZ, together with several alliance partners, with major beneficiaries being Ghana Association of Quasi Government Health Institutions (GFAQHI) of which Ghana Post Clinic is a member.
Dr Dwuma-Badu said over 400 members of the James Town Community and its environs in Accra benefited from a free health screening programme organised on Saturday, October 7, by Ghana Post with the support of GIZ , as part the ‘’Prevent is Better than Cure project’’.
“For organizations like ours, majority of our employees are at risk of developing such diseases as a result of the nature of the job which is sedentary, involving a lot of sitting and less physical activities,” he said.
He said this leads to frequent visits of the clinic or hospital, absenteeism, reduced productivity and needless loss of lives.
“Since some of these conditions can be prevented or controlled if identified at early stage, it is appropriate to pursue preventive health care,” he said.
He recounted that in 2015, on the occasion of the World Post Day, Ghana Post launch a health prevention programme for its employees, which run through to 2016.
Dr Dwuma-Badu said over 700 employees of the Company in Greater Accra, benefitted from a comprehensive medical screening.
He said results of the exercise showed that 38 per cent of employees had high blood pressure or hypertension.
He said an additional 23 per cent had their blood pressure within the pre-hypertension range, which if no preventive measure were instituted could develop into high blood pressure.
He said for such employees, having a year around preventive health unit would be of immense benefit to them.
Dr Dwuma-Badu said the Ghana Post on its part had shown commitment and zeal to see this project implemented by providing a dedicated place which had been innovated and furnished to host the preventive health clinics.
He said the Unit was expected to be opened on weekdays from 0800 hours to 1700 hours and would be manned by doctors and nurses of Ghana Post Clinic.
He said the health prevention unit could be used strategically to support marketing, drives and aimed at reaching out to the general public with the company’s services through health screening at community outreach programmes such as what was organised at Jamestown.