Women’s health screenings are essential – Dr Akyaa Boateng


Dr. Yaa Akyaa Boateng, the Family Physician Specialist at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH), has said that preventive health checkups for women have some benefits for everyone and therefore must be encouraged.

She said due to the backbone role women play in the family, society, and country, encouraging them to get checked up as a way to prevent and detect sicknesses early in them would preserve their health to perform their duties, which benefits all.

Dr. Boateng gave the advise during the weekly “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting health-related communication and providing a platform for health information dissemination to influence personal health choices through improved health literacy.

The Ghana News Agency’s Tema Regional Office developed the public health advocacy platform “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility” to investigate the components of four health communication approaches: informing, instructing, convincing, and promoting.

She noted that during preventive health checks, three areas—the history of the woman, physical examinations, and medical examinations—are done to pick up signs of sickness early for interventions and management.

Dr. Boateng stated that just regular maintenance helps preserve vehicles; preventive checks also preserve good health in women to prevent complications and premature death.

She encouraged women to see a qualified health care person for checks, indicating that during such checks, their history, including risk factors for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, and diseases, as well as pre-existing medical conditions,.

She urged women to open up and answer such questions, as it would help the doctors make informed decisions about them and know their financial and social support systems, which would also help tailor a preventive plan that would suit them.

The IMaH Family Physician Specialist said during physical examinations, they check from the head of the woman to the entire body to pick up any concerns.

She stated that the eyes are checked for any visual issues such as glaucoma, cataracts, and refractive errors, adding that sometimes some health conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol cause complications on the retina, which could be detected during eye examinations.

She said that with the ears, having difficulty hearing could affect the quality of life of a woman and therefore must also be examined for early detection and prevention.

The mouth, he said, would also be checked for gum diseases, which, if not detected early, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease as the bacteria that cause them could go into the bloodstream and to the heart.

She indicated that the neck, which contained the thyroid, was checked for enlargement and whether it was over-functioning or under-functioning, indicating that its function in the body was for metabolism to break down the food eaten.

Dr Boateng explained that overworking the thyroid could lead to palpitations and hypertension, while underworking it would slow down metabolism, leading to weight gain.

Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, called for collaboration between health professionals and media practitioners for effective public education on preventive health care.

Mr. Ameyibor noted that effective public education would reduce incidents of communicable diseases; “health information is critical for a healthy society, hence the need for health and media professionals to build a mutual partnership towards the transmission of accurate health-related information to masses promptly.”

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