Ghana requires geoscientists and academia to help in NCDs reduction-Prof. Arhin

Professor Emmanuel Arhin, a geoscientist, has urged government to leverage the expertise of geoscientists and academia to address the increasing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country.

He stated that NCDs were becoming increasingly significant in the field of public health and now the leading cause of mortality and disease burden in Ghana, saying NCDs continue to affect millions of people globally.

Professor Arhin, also the Dean of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) Campus at Dormaa, made the statement at a public lecture on the topic: ‘Origins of Emerging Non-Communicable Illnesses (NCDs): The Concealed Perils to Public Health.’

He observed that in the past, conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases were considered lifestyle diseases when the environment were less polluted, however the situation has changed significantly as NCDs now affect individuals of all ages, including children.

He said statistics between 2019 and 2022 indicated t
hat majority of individuals in Ghana diagnosed with type II diabetes fell within 30-39 age bracket, representing a population of over 1.4 million.

Professor Arhin highlighted a statement made by Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) during the World Heart Federation roundtable in Accra barely two years ago that over 600,000 individuals, comprising 400,000 females and 200,000 males, were diagnosed with high blood pressure annually in Ghana.

He emphasized that NCDs, if not prevented, could lead to metabolic disorders in individuals resulting in elevated blood sugar levels, which may lead to severe health complications such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and stroke.

Prof. Arhin reiterated the importance of the partnership between geoscientists and medical professionals which was long overdue.?

He assumed that reducing the rising number of dialysis cases of NCDs required acknowledging that prevention was more effective option than cure and stressed
the importance of proactively addressing the root sources of NCDs rather than just treating the symptoms.

Professor Arhin stressed the importance of creating an Environmental Disease Pattern Map for Ghana moving forward to help determine the route of exposure by analyzing food and water samples to confirm disease-types.

Additionally, human samples such as hair, nails and blood samples be collected to identify the underlying causes of NCDs to effectively combat the increasing prevalence of cases, he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency