Dr Dennis Ocansey, the Programmes Manager of Non Communicable Diseases, Ghana Health Service, on Monday said almost 50 per cent of adult Ghanaians were hypertensive, with 70 per cent of them unaware of their status.
He said the disease had gradually become a silent killer due to low awareness, killing about 50 per cent of complicated cases like stroke within 24 hours.
Dr Ocansey was addressing the southern sector Social Mobilisation and Risk Communication teams on diseases in Koforidua to precede World Hypertension Day on May 17.
The day is celebrated every year to promote public awareness of hypertension and encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control the “silent killer” and the “modern epidemic”.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Know your Numbers.”
Dr Ocansey said the country was recording high cases from the urban and rural communities and called for the creation of opportunities for people to check their status at all public places.
“The situation is serious and I think our schools, shopping malls, hotels and offices must create the opportunity for us to be able to check our status regularly,” Dr Ocansey said.
“We owe it to ourselves, families and the nation to know our numbers. Once we know our numbers (status), we save ourselves from heart attacks and damage to other vital organs in the body,” he said.
Dr Ocansey said unhealthy lifestyles, physical inactivity, tobacco usage and harmful use of alcohol were risk factors and called for regular exercises and healthy lifestyles to ensure longevity.
The event was organised by the Ghana Health Service with support from the World Health Organisation.