Conference abstract

Risk factors for non-communicable disease among adolescents in Senior High School in Accra

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(20).16 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.20.130

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Risk factors, NCD, WHO step’s framework
Oral presentation

Risk factors for non-communicable disease among adolescents in Senior High School in Accra

Bandoh Delia Akosua1,&, Sunkwa-Mills Gifty2, Ernest Kenu1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Accra, Ghana, 2Ghana Health Service, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Bandoh Delia Akosua, Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Accra, Ghana


Introduction: non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death globally. Low-and-middle-income countries show an increasing burden though they still struggle with the epidemic of communicable diseases. The detrimental effects of non-communicable disease on Ghana include increase in poverty due to loss of person-years and medical expenditure. Since periodic assessments of modifiable risk factors especially in young people is essential to curb this epidemic. We sought to assess risk factors of NCDS among adolescents in a senior high school.

Methods: we conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study in a senior high school in Accra from May-June, 2016. Adolescents were interviewed with a structured questionnaire designed using the WHO STEPS framework. Data on tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical activity and physical measurements of respondents were taken. We calculated BMI and classified the students using CDC growth reference standards. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for the various risk factors and the number of risk factors each child had was also determined.

Results: a total of 360 adolescents in the school were assessed. Mean age was (17±1.21) years with minimum age being 13 and maximum 19 years. Females were 51% (184/360). About 75% (271/360) reported being physically inactive, 15% (55/360) were overweight or obese (CI 0.0317-0.078), 7.0% (25/360) consumed alcohol (CI 0.054-0.111) and 2.5 %( 9/360) smoked tobacco (CI 0.013- 0.048). Majority of the respondents (346/360) were exposed to at least one risk factor. However, no one was found to be involved in all five risk factors assessed. Females were three times more likely to be overweight or obese compared to their male counterparts (OR; 3, 95%CI 1.581-5.624).

Conclusion: we found that majority of the children were physically inactive and more than 90% of the respondents had at least one NCD risk. We recommend that public health practitioners engage school authorities in discussions on how best active exercises can be included into the school system and encouraged among students. Health facility outreaches with education on how to live healthy should also target schools so that periodic assessment of NCD risk factors among school children can be carried out periodically. This would go a long way to prevent the epidemic in the future.