Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw, Medical Director, Eastern Regional Hospital
Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw, Medical Director, Eastern Regional Hospital

Stroke leading cause of deaths at Eastern Regional Hospital

Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), popularly called stroke, was last year identified as the major cause of death at the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua.


It was followed by hypertension, premature birth, pneumonia, heart failure, kidney disease, chronic liver cirrhosis, liver disease, septicalmiaseptsis birth and asphyxia.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Arko Akoto-Ampaw, said the delay in reporting to the hospital by patients had led to most of the fatalities.

He explained that in many cases reporting early at the hospital for management of cases would have saved the lives of the patients.

Dr Akoto-Ampaw made this known at the hospital’s 2023 annual performance review meeting with the Eastern Regional press corps in Koforidua last Friday.

The event was on the theme: "Impact of the Implementation of the Lightwave Health Information Management System (LHIMS) on Healthcare Delivery - Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward".


Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot, bursts or ruptures.

Symptoms include confusion and difficulty in speaking and understanding speech.

It also comes with headache, possibly with altered consciousness or vomiting, numbness or an inability to move parts of the face, arm, or leg, particularly one side of the body.

Vision too becomes difficult in one or both eyes, difficulty walking including dizziness and a lack of coordination.


The medical director said the hospital which was established in 1926 years ago with a vision of becoming a leading medical centre of excellence in quality healthcare provision, had lived up to that vision.

Dr Akoto-Ampaw said in 2023 the incidence of malaria topped the 10 major ailments reported at the hospital, and was followed by anaemia, hypertension, pneumonia, premature birth, tonsillitis, diabetes mellitus, jaundice and gastroenteritis.

He stated that the hospital had provided quality healthcare services for patients, not only in the region but other parts of the country over the years.

He said despite the provision of quality healthcare services, the facility recorded 855 deaths, out of which stroke accounted for 183 deaths.

He said in the previous year, the death rate had been lowered by 73, thus 782 deaths were registered, out of which stroke again was the major killer with 157 deaths.

The Medical Director further told the gathering that non-communicable diseases had now taken the lead in the cause of deaths other than communicable diseases.

Dr Akoto-Ampaw advised patients as well as relatives to always report medical cases to the hospital on time, since that was the only panacea to prevent untimely deaths.

Dr Akoto-Ampaw also appealed to residents in the region to consider constant medical check-ups as a duty.

"We don't need to get ill before we go on healthcare.

Run some tests, see how your sugar level is doing, blood pressure, check your weight, he said. 

Greener pastures

Touching on the hospital's operational difficulties, he said although some of the medical staff such as doctors and nurses had been exiting the facility for greener pastures that had not been a big challenge since those at post had been able to hold the fort.

On the hospital's future projects, Dr Akoto-Ampaw emphasised that a new oxygen plant would be constructed while the physiotherapy building, main stores and the pharmacy bungalow would all be rehabilitated.

Writer's email: [email protected]

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