Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, has identified some weaknesses in the overall national coordination and harmonisation of health research system within the country at the policy-making level that needed immediate redress.

He said though there are excellent individuals and institutional capacity within the country to direct set priorities, coordinate and review health research within the context of these academic institutions or specifically, Ministry of Health, there are many challenges to surmount.

Dr Nsiah-Asare was speaking at the opening of the Kick-Off meeting for the development and strengthening of National Health Research Systems (NHRS) in Sub-Saharan Africa taking place in Accra.

It is under the auspices of the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization Africa and the Ministry of Health.

The goal of the meeting is to initiate the process towards the development of strategic policy blueprint that would outline the linkages between EDCTP programme activities and the development and strengthening of NHRS of the 17 African member associations.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said research plays a crucial role in shaping policy and implementation of health programmes, which has guided the GHS to formulate policy, programmes implementation due to its empirical data, which answers programme challenges.

He said apart from GHS Research and Development Division sited at Navrongo, Kintampo and Dodowa, some major institutions carry-out health-related research including Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research into Tropical Medicines.

Dizziness

Dizziness is the general term used to describe the feeling of lack of balance when standing or when moving the head

Anatomy 

Anatomically, the ear has been divided into 3: the outer, middle and inner ear.

The inner ear is made up of the cochlea and the vestibular system. The cochlea is involved with hearing. The vestibular system “the organs for normal balance” detects movement and helps with balance.

The vestibular system is made up of a network of fluid-filled tubes called the semicircular canals and the , vestibule which consist of the utricle and saccule.

The utricle and saccule have calcium carbonate crystals (otoliths) which when displaced by linear movements, set up nerve signals that pass through the vestibular nerve to the vestibular centers in the brain.

The three semicircular canals contain receptors that detect angular(non-linear) head movements.

Pathophysiology 

Any disturbances in either of the two (left and right) vestibular organs, or the nerves that send signals to the balance centers in the brain, as well as failure of the brain to coordinate input signals from the vestibular organs, with signals from the eyes, muscles and joints, result in a sense of imbalance.

Vertigo

Vertigo is the most common form of dizziness. Vertigo is defined as the sensation of movement (usually a spinning motion) of either self or the environment.

Vertigo is broken down into central (when pathology is in the brain, precisely, the brainstem or cerebellum) and peripheral (when the pathology involves the vestibular system).

The Northern Region office of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), in partnership with the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), has organized a blood donation exercise to augment the stock of blood at the hospital.

Staff of the NHIA in the region, including members of the public, participated in the exercise, which was held in Tamale over the weekend, with the NHIA using the exercise to register new subscribers onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

This year’s event was the fourth in a series of the annual blood donation exercise, instituted by the NHIA in the region.

Mr Issahaque Abdul-Latif, Northern Regional Director of NHIA said the exercise formed part of NHIA’s contribution to saving lives by replenishing the blood banks of hospitals in the region to provide quality health care for all.

Mr Abdul-Latif said road accidents had become rampant in the region, and that, most of the victims needed blood transfusion, amongst other emergencies hence the exercise.

The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has described as horrifying the situation where less than 15 per cent of infants between six and 23 months get the dietary variety and feeding frequency that are appropriate for them. According to her, undernutrition and stunting were still unacceptably high in the country because few children received nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods with regard to their age.

The First Lady made the observation when she opened the maiden national Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Conference (MCHNC) 2018 in Accra.

The theme of the three-day conference is: “Strengthening partnership for achieving Universal Health Coverage in Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition.”

“On a personal level, my passion is driven by the belief that investing in the nutrition and health, especially of children and mothers, is one of the best investments we can make to enhance economic growth, eliminate extreme poverty and reduce inequality,” she stated.

Reducing burden

The First Lady called on participants to focus on the core agenda of the conference — that is reproductive, newborn child health and nutrition- which are major health concerns, saying: “Let us also be reminded that the effective management of proven interventions and programmes is a sure way to reduce the prevailing burden of maternal, newborn and child illnesses and deaths.”

According to her, as gains were being made in child survival, “we equally need to ensure that they thrive.

We need to seriously consider all issues relating to the important subject of early childhood development; a necessary consideration if every Ghanaian child must not only survive, but be provided everything needed to ensure their total physical, emotional and cognitive development.”

Dr John Williams, Director of the Dodowa Health Research Centre has called on Ghanaians especially pregnant women to sleep under treated mosquito nets to avoid malaria.

Dr Williams made the call at the opening of a one-day workshop organised by the African Media and Malaria Research Centre (AMMREN) at Dodowa in the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region.

It was on the theme ‘’ The Role of the Media in Strengthening the Quality of Malaria Care and Surveillance in Ghanaian Communities’’.

Dr Williams said malaria affected unborn babies through their mothers by not using the nets and urged pregnant women to eat balanced diet to avoid being anaemic to support their unborn babies.

Dr Williams pointed out that in 2016, out of the 800,000 reported cases in the Greater Accra Region, only 200,000 were malaria and noted that many people took every sickness as malaria and resorted to self-medication with malaria drugs being abused.

He said it was not all sicknesses that were malaria and advised patients to undergo medical tests to prove that their sickness was really malaria.

Dr Kenneth T.C. Brightson, Medical Superintendent of the Shai Osudoku Government Hospital, said malaria accounted for 445,000 deaths worldwide as compared to the one million a decade ago and children and pregnant women were most vulnerable to the disease.

He added that malaria had a negative impact on all sectors of the economy and urged people to keep their surroundings clean to destroy all breeding grounds for mosquitoes that caused the sickness.