The health of individuals in Ghana, including diseases and infections as well as mental stability, is at the heart of the Ghana Health Service and other health institutions in the country, such as the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG). Since government expenditure on health covers only around one percent of the country's GDP, public organizations may face financial challenges in providing quality healthcare.
Mental health provisions
Established under the 2012 Ghana Mental Health Act, the Mental Health Authority proposes and implements mental health policies, treatments, and rehabilitation activities. Generally, a person’s mental health can be compromised by many factors including the misuse of drugs or substances such as alcohol. In such cases, support is offered by drug rehabilitation centers and psychiatric hospitals. Ghana has only three psychiatric hospitals, concentrated in the southernmost parts of the country. Therefore, meeting the needs of mentally-challenged people becomes problematic.
Main diseases and mortality
One of the most widespread illnesses in Ghana is malaria, caused by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2020, nearly 5.9 million cases of malaria were reported in the country, decreasing from 6.7 million cases in the previous year. In 2019, over 21,000 people died from malaria. By comparison, sexually transmitted diseases have increased in the country, despite the introduction of preventive measures and treatments. As of 2020, 350,000 people were infected with HIV, compared to 340,000 confirmed cases in the preceding year. In 2020, 14,000 people died of AIDS. In 2017, the Test and Treat policy was introduced to provide immediate testing and antiretroviral therapy to HIV patients.
Another prevalent disease in Ghana is hepatitis B, a transmissible infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that can be acute or chronic. In 2019, more than 837,000 people were infected with acute hepatitis B in Ghana and approximately 113 deaths were registered due to the infection.
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