There is a scarcity of data on thyroid disorders in Ghana. A study was conducted to examine the spectrum and incidence of thyroid disorders in Ghana by reviewing all thyroid cases reported at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) between 2004 and 2010. Data was collected on the clinical and histological characteristics of all thyroid disorders reported during the Study period.

In total 1300 cases were reported, representing an annual incidence of 185.7 cases. The ages ranged from 1-86 years. Most of the cases were be-tween 30-39 years group and Majority, 1141(87.8%) were females.

A wide spectrum of thyroid disorders exists in Ghana. Recent studies have established that iodization of salt resulted in a reduction in the incidence of some types of the disease while others were on the increase.

Thyroid disorders vary according to the geographic location, environmental factors, factors affecting the onset and persistence of iodine-deficiency as well as iodine excess in diet and the population studied. Virtually all thyroid diseases are common in women, who commonly show palpable anterior neck swelling

Thyroid Disease Management in Ghana

Robust diagnostic facilities for thyroid disorders are generally lacking in most countries in Africa. In Ghana the commonly employed diagnostic techniques include; Blood Test (thyroid function test), Physical examination, and thyroid scan.

Diagnostic Process

Thyroid disease detection in Ghana has so far been challenging. Thyroid disease shares common symptoms with a list of other conditions making it difficult to identify. Secondly there is general lack of awareness for the disease even among physicians in the country so there is always the possibility of a thyroid disease patient being treated for other more commonly known conditions. It is also not rare for a patient to perform several tests before doing the appropriate test for thyroid disease which can be very costly

Thyroid disease Treatment in Ghana
Treatment Options
The treatment modalities that are commonly employed in the management of thyroid diseases are pharmacotherapy and surgery. Surgery is the much cheaper alternative treatment and commonly used for treating thyroid disorders in Ghana.
1. Medicine

2. Surgery
Average Cost Involved

3. Radio Iodine
In radioactive iodine therapy, patients are treated with radiation-tagged iodine molecules, which selectively target and kill overactive cells in the thyroid.

Average Cost Involved

staffThe Challenge