Worawora (O/R), Sept. 9, GNA – Dr. Paul Amankonah, the President of the Ghana Physiotherapy Association (GPA), has revealed that arthritis is more commonly found in divorced or separated women. He said the prevalence or incidence of arthritis had more than doubled over the last three decades.
Dr. Amankonah, in a speech during the 2022 World Physiotherapy Day held in Worawora on Thursday, said, “in numerical terms, it has increased to 527 million in 2019 from 247 million in 1990.” He said it was not usual for people younger than age 40 to have arthritis but that was no longer the case. “More and more people below the age of 40 are reportedly being inflicted with this debilitating condition,” he added.
Dr. Amankonah said arthritis was a global health concern and one of the major causes of disability among the adult population. He said maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar, regular physical activity and well-structured exercise regimes were some measures to lessen the risk of arthritis. Dr. Amankonah said with very good physiotherapy care, the burden of arthritis on the people would be significantly reduced with comparatively inexpensive procedures. “This, however, remains a challenge with the low penetration of physiotherapy services, especially in our non-urban communities.”
He said the recommended physiotherapist to patient ratio was 200 to 100000 patients but in Ghana the ratio was around one to 100,000. Dr. Amankonah said the GPA was appealing to the Health Ministry and stakeholders to make physiotherapy services more accessible to Ghanaians. He said they could make it accessible by helping to equip already existing facilities, undertake at least a one district, one physiotherapy facility approach.
Dr. Amankonah also appealed for financial clearance processes to be expedited for graduates of the profession who would want to serve. He said the GPA noted that there were several not trained, certified and licensed to practice Physiotherapy but were doing so and thereby putting the lives of the unsuspecting public in danger and called the public to be aware. Dr. Amankonah called on the government to put more interest in physiotherapy Services since there was a growing national demand for the services.
Mr. Mahama Asei Seini, the Deputy Minister for Health, called on newly qualified physiotherapy graduates to accept posting to District Hospitals to augment the number of staff in the Regions.
He said Physiotherapy had proven to be an integral part of the country’s healthcare service provision over the years with a current instance being the rehabilitation of persons with prolonged Covid- 19 infection with long term complications affecting their quality of life.
Mr. Asei Seini noted that Physiotherapy over the years had seen a huge growth from its inception. He said it started with a few numbers of Physiotherapy professionals in Teaching and Regional Hospitals only, to having it extended to District Hospitals. Mr. Asei Seini said Physiotherapy in recent times went beyond services in the hospitals but to companies, schools and other institutions without forgetting their impact in the sporting arena.
He said several highly trained physiotherapists graduate from various Universities yearly adding that the University of Ghana, University of Health and Allied Sciences and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology also started the training of physiotherapists.
Madam Millicent Carboo, the Biakoye District Chief Executive (DCE), said Physiotherapists needed to be celebrated for their role in helping patients manage pain, balance, mobility and motor functions.
She said Physiotherapists work with athletes and dancers to help them recover from injuries as well as improve their performance and added that “not all the time is taking medicine the solution to our problems.”
Madam Carboo used the occasion to call for prospective investors to partner the district to develop tourist sites, including the Bowiri Aboabo Water Cascades, Nyampodudu Cave Rock Shrine at Nkonya Ntumda and the Beach Front Development at Nkonya Adzamansu and at Nkonya Odormitor.