Dr. Momodou Cham, Public Health Physician in charge of Richard Novati Catholic Hospital, formerly Comboni Hospital, has warned against the over-exposure to organophospate compounds, fertilizers and pesticides to avoid Parkinson disease.
Parkinson disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, with symptoms often including tremors.
Dr. Cham who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, cautioned those who use those chemicals on a regular basis to use protective gears because “lavodopa”, the main drug in the management of the disease was hardly available and unaffordable in Ghana.
He said Parkinson disease as a long term degenerative, neurological disease could also be caused by genetic mutation and aging.
Dr Cham noted that the disease often started with a tremor in one hand, slow movement, stiffness and loss of balance and caution people to report any unusual health changes to appropriate facilities.
Thinking difficulty, depression, emotional changes, swallowing problems, chewing and eating problems, sleep disorders, bladder problems and constipation are also some symptoms to watch out for, he advised.
Dr Cham said in the advance stage of the disease, the patient may experience hallucination or delusion.
He said these days the disease was not uncommon in Africa as advancement in diagnostic accuracy, increased awareness and increased access to health care was exposing the disease to the public.
Dr Cham advised that regular physical checkups, mental and aerobic exercises and intake of high fibre nutritious foods be included in daily schedule to prevent the disease.