Stroke accounts for more deaths at Koforidua Hospital

BY: Abigail Bonsu

More patients in the Eastern Region died from stroke in 2012 than any other disease at the Koforidua Central Hospital.

The hospital recorded 141 deaths from stroke last year representing 14.1 per cent of all deaths at the facility.

In 2010 and 2011, the number of deaths from stroke at the same hopital was 116 each year.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Kwame Anim Boamah, said with the staggering statistics, stroke was  becoming the leading cause of death at the hopital.

At a annual review meeting of the hospital in Koforidua on last Friday, Dr Boamah said hypertension and diabetes often times aggravated into stroke due to cigarette smoking, alcohol intake and eating of more fatty foods.

The meeting was attended by Mr Victor Smith, the Care-taker Eastern Regional Minister.

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Dr Boamah advised hypertensive and diabetic patients to stop smoking and drinking alcohol in order to avoid contracting stroke.

According to Dr Boamah at age 40 and above, there was the possibility of one getting infected with stroke which he said could not be detected at its early stages to be effectively treated or managed.

He said most often patients were brought to the hospital under severe conditions, too late for treatment so they eventually died.

The medical director said the hospital, which is a referral point for patients in all the district hospitals in the region, had a number of challenges such as limited number of doctors and nurses, inadequate blood at the blood bank, inappropriate equipment to handle patients in certain critical conditions and congestion at the out-patient department.

He said despite the challenges, the hospital had been able to handle all patients effectively at all times.

Dr Boamah indicated that hard work and dedication on the part of the staff, especially, the doctors and nurses accounted for that achievement.

However, he said, there were some few bad nuts among the staff  who are being dealt with by management of the hospital.

The Head of Administration at the hospital, Mr Peter Boateng, advised patients not to send their folders home since that would create problem for them.

He said a new system put in place had made it possible for folders deposited at the hospital to be located within three minutes.

Mr Boateng appealed to relatives or well wishers to only visit patients at the appropriate period in order not to disturb their treatment.

Earlier, the Care-taker Minister of the Eastern Region, Mr Victor Smith, told the gathering that the government had made proposals in its budget to improve the health sector.

As a first step, he said, a new hospital would be built at Koforidua while other smaller heath facilities would be established in selected communities in the region.

He, therefore, asked health workers to put aside party partisanship and work assiduously for the welfare of patients.

Mr Victor Smith also urged management of the hospital to always educate the public, especially, patients on all aspects of treatment at the hospital for them avoid conducting themselves in a manner that would affect their relationship with doctors and nurses.

Story: A. Kofoya-Tetteh