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Hypertension is a silent killer of teachers – GNAT cautions

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) said hypertension and its related diseases were a major cause of some recent deaths among teachers in the Central Region.

It said the precarious working conditions of teachers, coupled with the harsh economic conditions had brought untold pressure on teachers, with debilitating health outcomes.

Consequently, ‘many teachers are dying at younger ages due to lifestyle changes and troubling working conditions. The situation has forced many to live and reason beyond their capabilities.’

‘The no money syndrome, high dependency ratio, and rising inflation without commiserate salaries have risen the blood pressure of many teachers,’ Mr Isaac Asante Frimpong, the Cape Coast Metro Chairman of GNAT, said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the GNAT Wesley Local Meeting in Cape Coast to educate teachers on the benefits of good and healthy practices to increase productivity in the classrooms.

The meeting was arranged by the GNAT Wesley Local, in collaboration with ‘Yes We
Cann Foundation,’ a non-governmental organisation dedicated to supporting and educating people on how to avoid kidney related diseases.

Mr Frimpong urged all teachers to adopt healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk of contracting the ailments.

They should do regular exercises and go for medical check-ups for early detection of diseases for prompt treatment.

He, however, did not understand why some Ghanaians preferred to see some disease symptoms before reporting to the hospital, by which time it may have reached an advanced stage.

With the harmattan still lurking, he urged Ghanaians to ensure they were always hydrated, and eat fruits with vitamin C to reduce the chances of contracting upper respiratory tract Infections (URTI) such as common cold.

‘Successfully controlling blood pressure through medication and healthy lifestyle is key to avoiding its negative effects such as stroke, heart and kidney diseases,’ he said.

Taking the participants through the nature of kidney disease, Mr Albert Kusi Tawiah, Se
nior Staff Nurse at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, said it was a medical condition in which the kidneys were damaged, making it difficult to filter blood as it should.

Therefore, excess fluid and waste from the blood remained in the body and may cause other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

The risk factors include tobacco use, use of dietary salt above the WHO recommendation of five grammes a day, and obesity.

Others are unhealthy diets such as those saturated in fat and trans fats, low intake of fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity, and consumption of alcohol.

He said non-modifiable risk factors included a family history of hypertension, age over 65 years and co-existing diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Re-strategising to diagnose all hypertensive cases for effective management was important to avert preventable deaths and disabilities, he said.

Mr Thomas Cann, the Founder of Yes We Cann Foundation, lamented how some prayer camps had become the first port of call f
or most people with health conditions instead of the hospitals.

He urged Ghanaians to seek professional health care for various ailments and not send their relatives to prayer camps, dotted all over the country.

‘Somehow, some have been made to believe that their sicknesses are spiritual,’ Mr Cann said.

‘I’m not by any way suggesting that there are no problems that border on spirituality, which need prayers to solve, but medical attention must first be sought.’

Source: Ghana News Agency