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Epidemiological transition and the double burden of disease in Accra, Ghana

Samuel Agyei-Mensah, University of Ghana
Ama de-Graft Aikins, University of Cambridge

It has long been recognised that as societies modernise, they experience significant changes in their patterns of health and disease. Despite rapid modernisation across the globe there are relatively few detailed case studies of changes in health and disease within specific countries and especially for Sub Saharan African countries. This paper presents some evidence to illustrate the nature and speed of the epidemiological transition in Accra, Ghana’s capital city. As the most urbanised and modernised Ghanaian city and as the centre of multidisciplinary research since its status as Ghana’s capital in 1877, Accra constitutes an important case study for understanding the epidemiological transition in African cities. Our study is still exploratory but it indicates how morbidity and mortality patterns in relation to communicable and non-communicable diseases have changed over the last century in response to demographic, economic, geo-political and sociocultural determinants.

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Presented in Session 91: Epidemiological transition: dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases