Commemoration of World Health Day 2023 With Tarkwa Municipal Hospital

The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in collaboration with the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), UMaT-Chapter and the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital observed the World Health Day under the theme, ‘Health for All’ on Thursday, 6th April 2023. The programme which was held in two parts included, a presentation by a team from the Neonatal and Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a lecture by the Medical Superintendent and Surgeon at the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital, Dr Frederick Yaw Ohenebeng Sarpong.

Dr Frederick Yaw Ohenebeng Sarpong

Delivering the lecture, Dr Frederick Sarpong emphasised the significance of living a healthy lifestyle and highlighted self-care practices that can improve the physical, mental and social well-being of members of the University community as well as ways to promote a healthy environment.  

During the lecture, Dr Sarpong underscored some unhealthy lifestyle practices such as eating poor diets, lack of exercises, smoking, alcoholism etc., and their related diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic lung / pulmonary diseases, diabetes as well as mellitus, which mostly occur as a result of unhealthy diets. He cited for example that obesity usually results from eating large amounts of foods that are high in sugar and fat. Dr Sarpong cautioned against eating a lot of fried or fast foods, processed foods and red meat. He proffered ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercising, eating home cooked meals, consuming little or no sugar, cutting down on processed and fast foods, limiting television and screen time as well as avoiding sitting for long hours.  He also mentioned that getting enough sunlight which is a source of Vitamin D increases metabolism, kills germs, improves sleep, and boosts the immune system. Additionally, Dr Sarpong mentioned that drinking brown cocoa raw or hot lemon juice first thing in the morning before breakfast, eating a low salt diet, drinking lots of water, substituting the use of white sugar in meals with honey or brown sugar, regular freeing of the bowels intermittent fasting as well as taking enough rests does wonder for the human body.

Audience

Referring to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health, Dr Sarpong indicated that more smokers died from the pandemic because their respiratory system were already compromised hence making them susceptible to the corona virus. He explained that smoking weakens the immune system specifically the respiratory system thus it is best to desist from it. Touching on alcoholism and its implications on health, Dr Sarpong stated that the intake of alcohol does not only cause obesity, but also has the tendency to damage the liver as well. He, therefore, advised against smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Dr Sarpong also cautioned against chewing bubble gum on an empty stomach as it causes inflammation of the stomach which leads to diseases such as gastritis and ulcer and when undetected early can result in cancer.

Speaking on ways to promote a healthy environment, the Guest speaker raised concern about the massive deterioration of the environment especially in developing countries. He cited for instance that in Ghana more especially in mining communities such as Tarkwa and obuasi, illegal mining activities were disconcerting as they had dire consequence on water bodies, land use, quality of air in the environment and many more which in the long run affects the quality of life. Dr Sarpong therefore stressed the need for governmental bodies and regulators to enforce environmental standards as well as enact laws to enforce land reclamation and the indiscriminate felling of trees. In the same vein, the speaker mentioned the need to implement national policies or laws in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases from refrigerants.

Mrs Selina Arthur-Senior Nurse NICU

The team from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital made a presentation on the building of an ultra-modern NICU equipped to provide quality yet affordable neonatal healthcare for the municipality and surrounding communities. Making the presentation, Mrs Selina Arthur, a senior nurse at the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital explained that the NICU offers special services to neonates born early or born with health complications such as respiratory difficulties, hypothermia, hypoglycaemia, eupneic spells, interveinal hemorrhage, and jaundice. She also outlined that complications in pregnancy such as bicornuate uterus, incompetent cervix, placenta abruption and placenta previa, fetal distress, vagina infections, multiple gestations, preeclampsia which is associated with high blood pressure, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, trauma, and malaria usually result in pre-term deliveries.

In line with the theme, “Health for All”, the NICU team appealed to stakeholders of the University to support the NICU project as it has the prospect of not only serving them but also it will cater for the less privilege members of the society who cannot afford the cost of NICU services in the country. The team indicated that some of the equipment currently needed at the Unit are incubators, cardiorespiratory monitors, blood pressure monitors, temperature probes, pulse oximeters, X-rays, computerised tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nasogastric tubes or orogastric tubes, endotracheal tubes (ET), respirators or mechanical ventilators, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), amongst others.

The Vice Chancellor Prof Richard K. Amankwah

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Richard K. Amankwah in his remarks expressed appreciation to the Tarkwa Municipal Hospital for the knowledge shared and encouraged the University community to adhere to the good healthcare tips. Professor Amankwah lauded the NICU team for the effort to solve one of the major healthcare challenges in the municipality and urged the various associations within the University to support the NICU project.

The 2023 World Health Day programme received participation from Nananom of the Apinto, Esuoso and Fiaseman Divisional Councils, staff of Tarkwa Municipal Hospital, members of the University community as well as the general public.

Participants

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