CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH INEQUILITY A DEADLY MIX FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH INEQUITY A DEADLY MIX FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE: WORLD HEART FEDERATION AND STROKE ASSOCIATION SUPPORTNETWORK-GHANA (SASNET-GHANA)

 29 September 2022 –On World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation (WHF) and the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) are calling for urgent action on climate change and health inequity, with millions more lives now at risk from cardiovascular disease, which is still the world’s biggest killer.

World Heart Day is celebrated each year on 29 September to raise awareness and mobilize international action against cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death on the planet. It is the global initiative under which individuals, governments and the entire heart community come together to engage in fun activities, increase public education, and advocate for universal access to CVD prevention, detection and treatment. The theme for this year’s World Heart Day 2022 is “USE HEART FOR EVERY HEART. With focus on 3 pillars they are ;

  1. USE FOR HUMANITY- Inequality – Healthcare Access

Access to treatment and support for CVD varies widely across the world. Over 75% of CVD deaths occur in low- to middle-income countries, but access can be an issue anywhere. By getting involved with global events such as World Heart Day, as well as local activities, we are empowered to spread awareness and help make a difference in the lives of all humankind

 

  1. USE FOR NATURE –Planet – Pollution

Air pollution is responsible for 25% of all CVD deaths, taking the lives of 7 million people every year. Whether they are more immediate actions like

Walking or cycling instead of travelling by car, or longer-term efforts such as supporting clean air legislation, each of us can contribute to a healthier planet in our own way.

 

  1. USE FOR YOU-Pressure -Stress

Psychological stress can double the risk of having a heart attack. Exercise, mediation, and getting enough quality sleep help to lower stress levels.

By resisting the harmful coping mechanisms and bad habits induced by stress, we can maximize our individual heart health.

2022 has seen historic heat waves and, with climate change disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable populations, we can expect a further widening of the gap in global cardiovascular healthcare equity.Climate change and related air pollution is already responsible for 25% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease,killing 7 million people annually.

Professor Fausto Pinto, President of WHF, says: “Millions of already vulnerable people are doubly exposed to extreme weather events and limited access to healthcare. World leaders must step up efforts on the two biggest threats of our time: climate change and global health inequity.”

Pakistan is currently battling one of its worst climate-related disasters. According to the World Heart Observatory, almost 1/4 of all deaths are due to cardiovascular disease in the country and air pollution is the second leading risk factor for death and disability. Additionally, 50% of the population does not have access to primary healthcare services. The situation is not different for the country. In Ghana, Ho, the capital of the Volta region of Ghana is the only city that has made strives towards achieving a clean air atmosphere.

Working hand in hand with the World Health Organisation (WHO), WHF and SASNET-GHANA are calling on governments, civil society, and global industry to meet net-zero targets, to tackle global warming and curb air pollution, and to deliver healthcare access for all.

 

“Climate change is not about polar bears or icebergs anymore. It’s about people’s health, especially poor people’s health. We need to reduce emissions in the name of health otherwise we will see more and more disasters and more suffering everywhere,” says Dr Maria Neira Director of Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO.

A new global survey by WHF highlights the global concern surrounding the link between climate change and cardiovascular disease, with climate change and air pollution ranked as the third most serious issue in relation to cardiovascular health among the respondents.The survey also revealed that awareness of healthcare inequity is growing: in response to a question about which global issues affected cardiovascular health the most, the second most common answer was social inequality and access to healthcare. These survey insights, combined with the almost 80% of participants believing that government action can significantly reduce the burden of CVD in their countries, underline the important role of policymakers.

WHF and SASNET-GHANA are urging government of Ghana (Ministry of Health), Healthcare providers to help improve cardiovascular health and to prevent CVD mortality by issuing regular reminders to at-risk groups about the dangers of extreme weather events, including tips on managing excessive heat events.

“We know what works in prevention and in treatment of the world’s biggest killer. It is time for scaled up implementation and shared responsibility. Beating cardiovascular disease should matter to every beating heart.” Prof Pinto adds.

Air pollution is responsible for 25% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease, taking the lives of 7 million people annually.

Over 75% of premature deaths from CVD occur in low- and middle-income countries including Ghana and half the world’s population has no access to essential health services.

Despite the shadow that the corona virus pandemic continues to cast (with the death toll approaching 6.5 million), CVD remains the world’s largest killer, claiming three times as many lives (18.6 million) every year.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) and the World Heart Federation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service  , Eastern regional Health directorate, District Health directorate New Juaben will  hold a walk for heart , social media and media engagement to commemorate the 2022 World Heart Day.

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Ad Adams Ebenezer, Executive director SASNET-GHANA, Led Consultant World Heart Day Campaign events in Ghana
ad.adams@sasnetghana.org  Mobile:  0594989495

https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/indicator-groups/indicator-group-details/GHO/ambient-air-pollution

World Patients Conference Agenda

Dear Colleague,
We are delighted to announce the program outline  for the upcoming 1st WORLD PATIENTS CONFERENCE which will be held in Rome on October 15-16, 2022.
The 1st WORLD PATIENTS CONFERENCE will provide patients the platform and opportunity to network, exchange information, share experiences, learn from each other, raise your voice, and advocate for patients cause internationally.

 

 

A CALL TO ACTION ON HYPERTENSION IN GHANA

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION) IN GHANA

High blood pressure (Hypertension) is called the “silent killer ” for good reason as it often has no symptoms, but is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. These diseases are the leading cause of death in the world.

In Ghana, data available on the Prevalence of Hypertension show that around 34% of adults aged between 30-79 years have raised blood pressure, with a significant number of these people being unaware that they are hypertensive. The available data also shows that an estimated 36% of those aware of their hypertension are on medication of one sort or another; i.e. receiving pharmacological treatment to lower the blood pressure. The other way to lower blood pressure is to make lifestyle changes.

This reported data present massive challenges to government and other stakeholders in managing hypertension in the population.
In 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published evidence-based pharmacological treatment guidelines for adults with hypertension, as well as the World Heart Federation roadmap and PASCAR 10 points action on Hypertension. In a recent Round Table Discussion on the subject of Hypertension in Ghana, the Ghanaian Society of Cardiologists, the Stroke Association Support Network-Ghana(SASNET GHANA) and the World Heart Federation, together with experts participants concluded that urgent action need to be taken at local and national levels to ensure effective implementation of prevention and treatment measures to control hypertension in the Ghanaian population.

All treatment for hypertension is expensive but in particular, Pharmacological treatment. We therefore call on government to provide the required level of resources to finance pharmacological treatment and prevent an epidemic of hypertension, heart disease and stroke from happening. The Stroke Association Support Network-Ghana, the largest non-profit ,Patients and Professionals based – advocacy organisation working on hypertension, CVD ,Stroke and Obesity can and will play a major role in bringing about lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure in the population.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA)

Dr. Ben Jabuni
(President )

Ad Adams Ebenezer
(Executive Director )
+233594989495
+233262463986(WhatsApp)
info@sasnetghana.org

World Hypertension Day 17th May 2022 Press Statement

Press Statement

To all Media Houses

17th May 16, 2022

 

World Hypertension Day “Measure your blood pressure, control it, live longer”

World Hypertension Day is celebrated each year on 17th May every year to raise awareness and mobilize international action against High Blood Pressure (HBP), the leading cause of death on the planet. It is the global initiative under which individuals, governments and the entire community advocates come together to engage in activities, increase public education, and advocate for universal access to hypertension prevention, detection and treatment

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) is aligned with the World Hypertension League’s (WHL) expanded theme for World Hypertension Day 2022: “Measure your blood pressure, control it, and live longer”. The key messages conveyed with this theme are to increase the awareness about the dangers of high blood pressure, emphasize the importance of measuring your blood pressure regularly, and adhering to the treatment protocols enshrined in the call to action by Pan African Society of Cardiologist (PASCAR) and implement the guideline for pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adult by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hypertension – or elevated blood pressure, is a serious medical condition, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.13 billion people worldwide have hypertension, it is estimated that between 10 to 20 million may have hypertension in low- and middle-income Sub Saharan Africa. While the WHOs target is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 globally.

In Ghana, Hypertension accounts for 3/4 all cases and deaths and the possibly resulting in strokes and Heart related issues. It is estimated that ,more than 61% of the COVID-19 patients  who were hospitalized  had hypertension, 52% had diabetes, and 45% of people aged 60 – 69 who died from COVID-19 also had hypertension according the WHO article on “Non Communicable diseases increase risk of dying from COVID-19 in Africa,” 2020.

The high rate of increased blood pressure is a great concern , more than 50% of Ghanaian  adult are  living with hypertension, a key driver for high blood pressure  are ,unaware of their condition and of those who are aware, half  do not take any action to control their blood pressure either through lifestyle modification or medication. Approximately 4 in 10 adults older than 25 years have hypertension and this means 75% of the world’s hypertension population are at risk and are potential candidates for heart disease, strokes, kidney disease or even sudden death”.

As part of activities in marking this year’s World Hypertension Day 2022, the Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana in collaboration with partners will hold screening exercise in Ahafo region and organize a virtual symposium to commemorate the event.

SASNET-GHANA and the WHL are making a point that, simple health-seeking behavior change can help to prevent hypertension and keep those who are hypertensive in good health. “The importance of knowing your blood pressure status.

Already, people living with hypertension are faced with numerous challenges with regards to access to quality healthcare and high cost of medications. Most of the hypertension drugs are not on the list of the National Health Insurance Scheme. We therefore call on government to absorb the cost of our treatment and care for hypertensive patients.

It is important to strengthen the healthcare system in Ghana to offer integrated care that addresses not only hypertension but also chronic illnesses.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) and the World Hypertension League commend the government of Ghana for successfully launching  Ghana’s National  NCD Policy and the Strategic and implementation plan . We will collaborate with government to implement the policy especially in the area of Hypertension, Stroke, CVD and Obesity.

Finally, we call on government through the ministry of health to address the big  issue ,thus  unavailability   of hypertension drugs in some of the health centers across the country and also ask the government to supply  these health centers with functionable  digital blood pressure measuring devices for accurate measurement  in order  to minimize possible  misdiagnosis  which not checked  could lead to complications or death .

Ad Adams Ebenezer

Executive director

Website:care.sasnetghana.org

Facebook: @FightStroke.SasnetGhana

Twitter: @ghbeatstroke

Health Chat Line: 0262463986

 

 

 

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National Stroke Survivors Day 16th March 2022 Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

16th March ,2022

To All Media Houses

Stroke Association Supportwetwork-Ghana(SASNET Ghana) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with mission and vision to reduse the burden of Stroke in Ghana.

SASNET GHANA’S primary purpose includes advocacy, raising awareness, and health education/promotion, aimed at reducing the prevalence and incidence of stroke ,CVD and NCDs in Ghana.

National Stroke Survivors’ Day is commemurated annually on the 16th of March to promote the right of persons with stroke and seek better care and support for persons with Stroke in Ghana.

The theme of this year’s event is that- “community-based rehabilitation improves the quality of community life after stroke for stroke survivors.” This is consistent with the strategic objective of the organisation to set up 275 constituency based rehabilitation centres across the country for stroke survivors.

Stroke is a public health emergency, on the verge of becoming an epidemic. The organization therefore call on the Ghana government ,philanthpists, donors , etc to help in the construction of the 275 constituency based rehabilitation centres and support the implementation of our Community Life After Stroke Programme (CLASP) in oder to rebuild the life of those with Stroke especially in communities where access to stroke support and rehabilitation are not available.

The COVID 19 situation has exposed gaps in Ghana’s health Structure especially with regards to the trearment and care for Stroke in the country. Over 78% of persons affected with stroke are not able to access post discharge support neither are they able to afford the cost for the treatment of which is currently not covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS). These situation are the major hindrance to the recovery plan for persons living with strokes and a grave concern that must be addressed by government. The situation has a tendency to result in the lost of lives of persons with Stroke or at times leads a second Stroke.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA) on this special day ” National Stroke Survivors Day 2022″, call on government of Ghana to act expidiently to address these gaps indentified in order to rebuild and save the lives of those Stroke in Ghana.

Ghanians as well as persons with Stroke have the right to receiving the right medical care and support as enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana.

End

Chief Dr Ben S. Jabuni
President of SASNET GHANA

Mr Samuel Sedodo
Chair Stroke Survivors and Executive member SASNET GHANA

Ad Adams Ebenezer
Executive director SASNET GHANA

+233(0)594989495
info@sasnetghana.org

National Stroke Survivors Day 2022 Press Statement

PRESS RELEASE

16th March ,2022

To All Media Houses

Stroke Association Supportwetwork-Ghana(SASNET Ghana) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with mission and vision to reduse the burden of Stroke in Ghana.

SASNET GHANA’S primary purpose includes advocacy, raising awareness, and health education/promotion, aimed at reducing the prevalence and incidence of stroke ,CVD and NCDs in Ghana.

National Stroke Survivors’ Day is commemurated annually on the 16th of March to promote the right of persons with stroke and seek better care and support for persons with Stroke in Ghana.

The theme of this year’s event is that- “community-based rehabilitation improves the quality of community life after stroke for stroke survivors.” This is consistent with the strategic objective of the organisation to set up 275 constituency based rehabilitation centres across the country for stroke survivors.

Stroke is a public health emergency, on the verge of becoming an epidemic. The organization therefore call on the Ghana government ,philanthpists, donors , etc to help in the construction of the 275 constituency based rehabilitation centres and support the implementation of our Community Life After Stroke Programme (CLASP) in oder to rebuild the life of those with Stroke especially in communities where access to stroke support and rehabilitation are not available.

The COVID 19 situation has exposed gaps in Ghana’s health Structure especially with regards to the trearment and care for Stroke in the country. Over 78% of persons affected with stroke are not able to access post discharge support neither are they able to afford the cost for the treatment of which is currently not covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS). These situation are the major hindrance to the recovery plan for persons living with strokes and a grave concern that must be addressed by government. The situation has a tendency to result in the lost of lives of persons with Stroke or at times leads a second Stroke.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA) on this special day ” National Stroke Survivors Day 2022″, call on government of Ghana to act expidiently to address these gaps indentified in order to rebuild and save the lives of those Stroke in Ghana.

Ghanians as well as persons with Stroke have the right to receiving the right medical care and support as enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana.

End

Chief Dr Ben S. Jabuni
President of SASNET GHANA

Mr Samuel Sedodo
Chair Stroke Survivors and Executive member SASNET GHANA

Ad Adams Ebenezer
Executive director SASNET GHANA

+233(0)594989495
info@sasnetghana.org

Happy New Year to everyone and a call on all to fight Stroke together.

The Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA) wish all persons with stroke,cares ,health professionals, researchers,partners, etc a Happy New Year(2022). We are with a strong conviction that ,the year 2022 will be a success for all. Although COVID19 negetively impacted  on our activities last year(2021) , yet there are good days ahead for all.

SASNET- Ghana in the coming days would outline it programme of activities for the year 2022 and reach out for support in the implementation of the programs.

We look forward working with all in the  fight against Stroke ,CVD and to  rebuild the lives of those affected with stroke in Ghana ,Africa and across the globe.

Yours Sincerely

Samuel Sedodo

Chair PLWS and Executive Member SASNET GHANA

3rd National Stroke Survivors Day 16th March 2021

12,800- 16000 stroke(NCD) cases are recorded across the country annually. In KATH alone, 800-1000 cases are recorded every year.  In the Bono region Stroke tops all deaths contributing over 19% of the total deaths of NCDs in the region.  30% of stroke deaths in Ghana are link with persons of the age range of 50 years and below.  Major causes of Stroke in Ghana are; Hypertension, Diabetes, , excessive alcohol in take, blood cholesterol, sickle cell anemia, physical inactivity,tobacco smoking  and family history of stroke.

80-90% of strokes (NCD) are preventable. Rapid diagnosis and treatment are critical to survival and reducing disability. Rehabilitation and long-term support improves physical and emotional health and well-being. An integrated, holistic approach to health and care delivers better outcomes.

The economic case for tackling stroke(NCDs) as a priority is compelling. Stroke may cost Ghana’s economy over millions of dollars every year in the next five years if no comprehensive action is taken on prevention and treatment. The projected cost could treble by 2035 if government and the Ghana Health Service fail to act appropriately. However, there are well-evidenced prevention, treatment and rehabilitation interventions that can significantly reduce the impact of stroke on people’s day-to-day lives, and the financial and social burden of stroke on our country.

3 out of 7 persons affected with stroke would die in Ghana as a result of lack of access to standardized stroke treatment and management, post stroke rehabilitation and social support integration.

National Stroke Survivors day was instituted 3 years ago with aim to raise awareness on stroke prevention, Life after stroke interventions and to project the right of persons living with stroke in Ghana as enshrined in the Global Stroke Bill of Right (GSBoR) in the following bullet points; Persons with stroke have the right to receive the best stroke care, Be informed and prepared about Life after Stroke challenges , solutions, and be supported on their road to recovery.

16th March every year is dedicated to commemorate  National Stroke Survivors Day in Ghana. An event which is  spear headed by the Stroke Association Suppportnetwork-Ghana and the African Stroke Organization(ASO), World Stroke Organization(WSO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and partners.  This year’s event was held in Sunyani in the Bono region of Ghana. The theme for this year’s event  was ‘’Supporting persons living with stroke and their carers now and beyond COVID19 Era to rebuild the lives”. The event preceded with a Radio discussion on Radio BAR on the 15th of March involving team from Ministry of Health, Health promotion unit led by Mr. Mark Atuahene and leadership of the Stroke survivors of SASNET-GHANA ; Mr. Samuel Sedodo ,national stroke survivors Chairperson, Mr. Kumah Ayeh Bono region stroke survivors chairman and Mr. Ad Adams Ebenezer executive director SASNET-GHANA.

The team further visited Sunyani market and the main station to educate the public on stroke prevention and shared information on adherence to COVID19 protocol to avoid community spread.  A Symposium was held on the 16th of March at the sunyani municipal assembly hall. The Bono regional minister, Hon. Justina representative at the event who read a speech on behalf of the regional minister called on all to acknowledge the fact that, stroke could  affect anyone.  She added that, it’s important to support those affected with stroke in whatever way or means available to us as carers, family members, colleagues and friends.  Mr. Kumah Ayeh, Bono stroke survivors Chairman called on family members to stand with them in this difficult times and understand their condition in a sense that, they didn’t chose to live with stroke, but rather it occurred as an accident. He said, right relationship could help to speed up their recovery. The national Chairperson for person with stroke who doubles as an executive member for SASNET GHANA Mr. Samuel Sedodo made a strong call on government to expand the NHIS to include cost of treatment for stroke, enroll poor members of the stroke survivor network on government LEAP and lastly partners SASNET-GHANA Community Life After Stroke Program in order to reach to persons with stroke in communities where access to rehabilitation is a major challenge. Mrs. Belinda , Ag. Director social welfare Sunyani municipality touched on stroke and disability. She said, post stroke programmes must be available in the communities to improving and empower those with stroke such the post stroke community based rehabilitation CLASP by SASNET GHANA and other Livelihood programmes by government. She pledged her support for the bono stroke survivors’ network. Nana Aboa Boahemma queen mother of Sunyani traditional who represented  chiefs and queen mothers of the traditional area pledged to support   SASNET GHANA  Bono survivors network  members with assistive devices and rehab materials for the CLASP and  called on government to step up Prevention campaigns  and other support interventions  to improve the quality of lives  of those living with stroke in bono region and the country at large  .

According to the Bono regional deputy director in charge of clinical care of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Kwabena  Kumi said out of the 615 stroke cases recorded in 2020, the Sunyani municipality leads with 280 cases followed by Wenchi.

Mr. Mark Kojo Atuahene, acting Head of Public Health and Health Promotion Unit of the MoH, said , government have prioritized concerns of the Persons living with Stroke and gave the assurance that ,the ministry would continue to support them to improve their well-being.

Mr. Atuahene said, MoH would enhance partnership with stakeholders such as the National Health Insurance Authority, SASNET-GHANA and other health centered NGOs to help address challenges facing persons with stroke in Ghana.  Mr. Ad Adams Ebenezer, Executive director of Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) said, the nation records between 12,000-16,000 stroke cases annually with diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism and smoking being major contributory causes. He advised the public to desist from stigmatizing and discriminating against people living with stroke rather than support them to seek medical support. Mr. Ad Adams added that, carers ,  family members, Stroke multidisciplinary team must be celebrated for their hard, continues support and role in rebuilding the lives of those affected with stroke and called on government to partner and  support SASNET GHANA’s Community Based Life After Stroke Rehabilitation program aimed to provide rehabilitation support in the hard to reach  communities where access to post stroke rehabilitation is a  challenge for persons living with stroke.

Mr. Ad Adams said, the initiative would make rehabilitation accessible for all especially persons affected with stroke within the communities to leave no one behind. He added that, SASNET GHANA in collaboration with  MoH, GHS and other partners would kick start a nationwide  Community-to-Community awareness campaign on Stroke ,Hypertension and CVD from April 2021 to September 2021.