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Stress is risk factor for hypertension in pregnant women – Medical Officer

Dr Derrick Darko, a Medical Officer at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) has stated that stress is one of the risk factors for hypertension in pregnancy and therefore advised them against it.

The IMaH Medical Officer said being pregnant comes with a lot of stress therefore, women must do their best to reduce such stresses as failure to do so could lead to higher blood pressure which could endanger their lives and that of their babies.

Dr Darko gave the warning at “Your Health! Our Concern! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office,” an initiative aimed at promoting communication of health-related and setting the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.

The GNA-Tema Your Health! Our Concern initiative also serves as a public health advocacy platform initiated to explore the parameters of the four approaches to health communication: informative, educating, persuasive, and prompting.

Speaking on the topic; “Hypertension in Pregnancy,” Dr. Darko said if the body of a pregnant woman goes through a surge of hormones under highly stressful conditions, it could cause the heart to beat faster narrowing the blood vessels, a situation that could even lead to a heart attack.

He, therefore, appealed to relatives, and friends of pregnant women to create a sense of community around them by offering the needed help to prevent the buildup of stress in them and its consequences.

He indicated that other risk factors for developing hypertension in pregnancy include the age of the woman (35 years and above), obesity, first-time pregnancy, family history, high salt and fat diet, and lazy lifestyle.

Dr. said hypertension in pregnancy could lead to having preterm babies who are mostly underweight, complications in pregnancy, heart attack, maternal, and infant mortality, among others.

Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional manager appealed to media practitioners to lead health advocacy to create massive awareness across the country to promote personal health literacy.

He said personal health literacy forms part of the general healing process and, and appealed to media practitioners and media owners, communication experts, and other online platforms to help propagate health news.

Francis Ameyibor noted that according to the World Health Organization personal health, literacy was the degree to which individuals could find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.

He, therefore, appealed to media practitioners to work together with health professionals to promote personal health literacy which would defuse the superstition and dependency on non-health professionals for medication by some people.

He noted that GNA-Your Health! Our Concern! seeks to set the medium for the propagation of health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.

Ameyibor said GNA-Tema Regional Office has, therefore, created “Your Health! Our Concern” as a weekly health dialogue platform to serve as an effective communication channel for health professionals to educate the public on healthy practices and other general health challenges.

Source: GNA

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