Professor Frank Edwin, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, said cancer of the oesophagus, otherwise referred as the swallow tube, is common in the Volta Region with the risk factor being heavy alcohol consumption, according to researchers from the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
It was a major health problem with high case manifestation over the period, he said.
Prof Edwin disclosed this during a ‘Save a Heart, Save a Life’ fundraising campaign to modernise and expand the existing Cardiothoracic Disease Centre of the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH).
ICS Africa, an events company based in Accra, is spearheading the $3.2 million campaign to mobilise funds to equip the Centre with standard machines and operationalise the different units to undertake major cardiac surgeries.
He disclosed that hypertension and heart failure contributed to major national health problems, with the two diseases representing 77 per cent of all patient encounters for 2020.
Nearly half of 1,000 cases represented hypertension and a quarter of the figure representing heart failures.
Prof Edwin, also the Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery Centre of the UHAS and the Ho Teaching Hospital, expressed worry over the increasing number of cardiac arrest cases in the country with sudden onset of chest pain.
“We believe the cardio centre will be advantageous for early detection and treatment of the disease and open the avenue for immense educational opportunities for training students and practicing doctors.
He commended the UHAS Council, the Vice Chancellor, Prof John Gyapong, and the Management of the HTH for the initiative.
Mr Kwesi Dzramedo, the Internal Auditor of HTH, said the programme would see an engagement with the business community and chiefs slated for August and a fundraising dinner in September.