Dr Alfred Doku (arrowed), President, Ghana Society of Cardiology, with some of the members
Dr Alfred Doku (arrowed), President, Ghana Society of Cardiology, with some of the members

Create space for recreational activities in communities - Society for cardiology to govt

The Ghana Society for Cardiology (GSC) has advocated the creation of more playgrounds for recreational activities in the country.

According to the society, uncontrolled development in various parts of the country was denying some communities of recreational spaces, including fun parks as areas demarcated for such activities were being turned into structures. 

As a result, many people do not have access to space and facilities to exercise or have fun games to release stress.

It also identified the rural-urban migration phenomenon as a contributory factor to the rapid urbanisation of most communities that was making it difficult to maintain existing recreational centres or the creation of new ones. 

“Urbanisation may have some positives, but it also has many challenges so far as cardiovascular health is concerned,” the President of the GSC, Dr Alfred Doku, said. 

He added that due to the increasing population in urban areas, most people tended to spend more time in vehicular traffic before accessing health care, a situation which could prove fatal, especially during emergencies.


The president, who was speaking at the 5th Annual General and Scientific meeting of the GSC in Kumasi last Thursday, therefore, urged the government to enforce policies to safeguard spaces meant for recreational activities in communities.

Speaking on the theme: “Gender and cardiovascular heath,” he said although cardiovascular diseases affected both men and women “men tend to die more from cardiovascular diseases, especially in Africa because the health seeking behaviour of men is greatly low”.

“Men are likely to detect cardiovascular diseases quite late primarily because they are not diagnosed with hypertension early, leading to they having stroke and heart diseases.

“Even when it comes to management, women are more compliant as they are more likely to take their medication than men,” Dr Doku said.

He, however, said that notwithstanding women’s better health seeking behaviour, it was more difficult to diagnose cardiovascular diseases in women due to what the president described as nonspecific presentation.

“When a woman has cardiovascular disease or heart attack, the presentation is a bit different. Women tend to present nonspecific chest pains and difficulty in breathing. 

“So the diagnosis becomes a bit difficult in women, while in men it is usually a bit easier,” he said.

Dr Doku further said that “yes, women are more compliant, they seek help early and they are able to live a healthy life as compared to men.”

Global situation

Globally, the president said that more than 19 million people die from cardiovascular diseases which is the third cause of death in the world.

“In Ghana, stroke and heart diseases are the leading causes of death. So globally, regionally and nationally, cardiovascular diseases are the main causes of death and it is worrying, because diseases such as hypertension is preventable,” he said.

Dr Doku, therefore, appealed to the people to go for regular check-ups and live healthy lifestyles and not wait to fall sick before seeking health care.

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