Members of the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) have met in Accra to review the draft National NCD Strategic Plan for Ghana. The document seeks to operationalize the National NCD Policy, among others.
Cabinet has already approved the policy pending its official launch and dissemination by the Ministry of Health.
The focus of the meeting was to address the gaps in the National NCD Policy and make suggestions and recommendations for input. Officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) were also around streamline the ideas.
Participants at the meeting made detailed analysis of the document with specific focus on issues concerning the framing of the text on how to involve People living with NCDs in decision making, the financial protection under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), how to mainstream NCDs in other health issues such as HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, the youth and the aged, commercial determinants of health, among others.
The meeting was organized under the auspices of the Alliance. Its National Coordinator, Mr. Labram Massawudu Musah remarked that the importance of the meeting is due to the value the Alliance places on the document.
“We excited about the policy and even more excited about the efforts being taken by government to operationalize it. We are having this discussion to ensure that the final document that would be launched would be fit-for-purpose. Our members have made significant contributions and we are hopeful that the authorities would accept our suggestions and inculcate them to strengthen the final document,” he stated.
Ghana’s previous strategic plan for NCDs ‘Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases’ was implemented for the period 2013-2017. Following the lapse of the implementation period and the development of a new NCD Policy for the country, there was the need to develop a new strategic plan that aligns with national and global agenda for NCDs.
As part of the development process, a review of the implementation of the previous strategy provided guidance for the development of the new strategy.
Non-communicable diseases refer to a broad category of disease conditions characterized by the inability of the affected person to transmit the disease to another person. Most NCDs are chronic in nature and are associated with a multiplicity of behavioral risk factors commonly physical inactivity, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and air pollution. Other important risk factors include high blood pressure, high serum lipids, obesity, raised blood glucose and substance abuse.
By Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh