General News of Sunday, 13 January 2002

Source: GNA

More men died in Ghana last year

A half-year report by the Department of Births and Deaths on Friday showed a mortality rate of 25,808 between January and June last year with males accounting for 51 per cent of the deaths.

Mr Kingsley Asare Addo, Assistant Registrar in charge of statistics, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra that out of the total of 49,913 deaths recorded last two years males accounted for 28,065 and females 21,848.

He said 6,552 of the deaths last year occurred among people of 70 and above whilst infant and child mortality accounted for 2,839. Mr Addo attributed the high mortality rate among men to strenuous economic activities and reckless social lifestyles such as over indulgence in alcohol, smoking and sex.

The Greater Accra Region recorded the highest mortality rate of 25 per cent whilst the least of 0.8 per cent went to the Upper West Region. A total of 246,713 births were also recorded during the first six months of last year with infant births accounting for 122,755. Delayed registration by people processing birth certificates, especially for passports, accounted for 123,958.

Mr Addo said a total of 427,215 births were recorded during the last two years. Women between 25 and 29 years topped the birth rate by 32 per cent during the half year followed by 20 and 24 years, 27 per cent, 30 and 34 years, 20 per cent, 35-39 years, 11 per cent, teenagers (15-19) seven per cent and 40-45 years, three per cent.

Greater Accra again topped the birth rate with 75,565 with Upper West Region recording the least with 4,594. Mr Samuel Pedro Ankrah, Registrar of Birth and Deaths, said the disparity in coverage in the regions was due to the high population distribution especially in the big towns and cities.

He said apart from Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, most of the remaining regions lacked good health and other facilities to enhance record gathering. Mr Ankrah said the Department also lacked adequate manpower and logistics to ensure efficient service. "Remuneration of field staff is poor and I appeal to the government and the District Assemblies to come to our aid."