The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in collaboration with the Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute of China, will in September this year conduct a research into the prevalence of heart diseases in Ghana.
The study will serve as the basis for the establishment of a Cardiovascular Centre at KATH and will cover four regions in the country.
It is part of a protocol on the Sino-Ghana West Africa Heart Centre Cooperative Programme signed between the Ministry of Health and the Health and Planning Commission of Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China.
The study, titled: ‘Prevalence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Ghanaian Communities,’ will cover the Ashanti, Greater Accra, Central and Northern regions.
Explaining the rationale for the research, a Consultant Cardiologist with KATH, Dr Isaac Kofi Owusu, said studies conducted over the years had shown that most Ghanaians were suffering from heart diseases.
He said hypertension had been found to be the main cause of heart failure in adults and that about 50 per cent of adults who reported to hospital with heart disease usually arrived in critical conditions.
According to him, there is need for the hospitals to go beyond statistics and enter communities to find out the causes of the ailment.
He said the research by scientists from both countries would look at conditions in various communities and ways by which these were contributing to the prevalence of the disease.
A team of cardiovascular scientists from the Guangdong General Hospital in China was in the country to train some staff of KATH as a precursor to the establishment of a cardiovascular centre in Kumasi.
The team, together with their Ghanaian counterparts, has performed four open heart surgeries and implanted five pacemakers for nine patients with heart diseases in the Ashanti Region.
This is the second time a team of surgeons from Guangdong is in the country to perform heart surgeries free of charge for patients suffering from rheumatic heart problems.
A consultant cardiac surgeon from China, Prof. Jason Huang, commended the local team for their expertise which he said had helped the team in conducting successful surgeries.
He said Comfort Oppong, a 46-year-old patient who had been on a waiting list since last year and was in critical condition, could have died if she had not been surgically operated on.
He said Guangdong Hospital would continue to collaborate with KATH to train doctors so that when the centre was established, it would take off smoothly.
The team from China also donated some medical consumables worth over $200,000 to KATH for the care of those who undergo heart operations.
The Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Dr Joseph Akpaloo, expressed gratitute to the Chinese team for the support and was expectant that the cardiovascular centre would soon be established to enable the hospital to undertake heart surgeries and provide the necessary care for patients with heart conditions as well.