The Chairperson of the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA), and also Chairperson of the Ghana Cancer Board, Dr. Beatrice Wiafi-Addai, has revealed that every person or growing adults especially are potential patients of one Non-Communicable Disease or the other.

She said, in Ghana about 44% of all deaths are attributable to Non-Communicable Disease.

Speaking at the high level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) held in Accra on September 4, 2019, in the run up to the United Nations high level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, (UHC), to be attended by world leaders in late September, under the theme: “Investing in NCD prevention and control, key to achieving Ghana’s Primary health care for all, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai stated that “44% is closed to 50% of all mortalities and about 21% of all pre-mature deaths are from Non-Communicable Diseases”.

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai mentioned that The UN High level meeting on Universal Health Coverage is very timely and demand driven, stressing the point that “if we are to address the health needs of our people like those living with NCDs, we need to do so by ensuring everyone enjoys quality standards of care and financial protection-in other words, UHC…Without UHC we cannot end the NOD epidemic”.

The Ghana government is taking proactive action in responding to the NCD epidemic in our country,” said by the Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban.

He lauded the WHO’S efforts to have UHC on the global health agenda and “we strongly support the notion that commitments to make UHC a reality globally going forward will rely on individual governments making the tight call at a national level”.

Mr. Kom Abban reiterated that the Ghana government is committed to implementing UHC and ending the NCD epidemic in the country’

The representative of the community of People Living with NCDs, Christopher Agbegah in his submissions said Ghana cannot afford to exclude NCDs from its national health and development agendas…..“Ghana’s health system is under stress as a result of the rapid spread of NCDe. Treatment of NCDs comes at a huge cost that undermines workforce productivity and the economic prosperity of the country. We need to begin to seriously consider how UHC might become the tool to both treat and prevent the NCD epidemic.”

The organizers of the meeting, Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDAL) said Ghana cannot hope to end its growing NCD while people struggle to meet the costs of diagnosis, treatment and care, “NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and mental health are reported to be responsible for the death of 94,400 people in Ghana annually (42% of all deaths)”

The High Level meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, (NCDs), was attended by a broad section of society, government representatives, Civil Society Organization, UN Country Representatives, Traditional and Religious leaders, International and local NGOs, relevant private sector groups, patient groups, research and academic institutions, trade unions, university and tertiary institutions, medial associations, women groups, child welfare and youth groups.

The meeting provided a platform for key health stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service/NCDP, Civil Society Organizations, and People living with NCDs to discuss NCDs n the context of achieving Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Access to optimal medical treatments often depends on a person’s financial resources, and with over half of the world’s population unable to access essential healthcare and millions being driven into poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health services, the time has come to seriously discuss the long term social and economic benefits of UHC.

The Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) was formed in 2017 and officially registered on January 11, 2018 under the leadership of Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), and with support from the NCD Alliance.

It objectives are to identify and implement strategies that ensures early detection, quality of care and cost of treatment and care for those affected by NCDs; Strengthen the capacities of civil society, PLWNCDs and development professionals; Support the development and implementation of national plans and policies related to NCDs; Strengthen and build partnerships with governments, other regional and global networks in the implementation of NCDs programmes; Conduct research and share knowledge on NCDs among others.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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