Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) launches Advocacy Agenda

Three-quarters of death from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2016 occurred in low and middle-income countries with about 46 percent of deaths occurring before the age of 70 in these countries.

Non-communicable diseases also killed 41 people each year and the burden of these diseases are rising among lower income countries.

The Deputy Minister for Health (MoH), Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban made this known at the press launch of the Ghana Advocacy Agenda of People Living with non-communicable diseases on the theme ‘Putting People Living with Non- Communicable Diseases at the Centre of National Health Agenda’.

Mr. Abban said Ghana was responding to the challenges and was making progress on strengthening policy response to NCDs, notably, legislation on tobacco control, accompanied by a 175 percent tax increase on tobacco and alcoholic products, a National Alcohol Policy, a National Cancer Strategy and a strategy on prevention control of chronic NCDs.

According to the Minister, efforts were being made to ensure that the treatment of some NCDs was captured under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to alleviate the economic cost on people living with NCDs.

This, he said, was in line with the MoH’s vision to ensuring universal health coverage for all, adding that talks were ongoing with relevant authorities to introduce a tax on some unhealthy commodities to reduce NCDs.

Mr. Abban indicated further that the MoH was making NCD prevention and control a key priority and would ensure that the draft national NCD policy, which has faced challenges over the years, is finalised.

He called on the Ghana NCD Alliance and its partners both local and international to continue to complement government’s efforts in the global fight against NCDs and empower communities and people living with NCDs to demand their constitutional right to health.

In a speech read on behalf of Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Owen Kaluwa stated that NCDs, which are mainly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes were the world’s biggest killers — approximately 40 million died people yearly.

He said it was a right for everyone to have access without discrimination to nationally determined sets of the needed preventive, curative and rehabilitative basic health services and essentials, safe, affordable and effective medicines.

He was hopeful that the government would continue to provide leadership and support for the Ghana NCDs Alliance to work effectively to complement efforts at reducing NCDs burden in Ghana.

Source: ISD (Edem Agblevor)

Created: 23 May 2019
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