Story by Michael Ofosu-Afriyie/www.cmonline.com.gh/Kumasi
The Chairperson of Ghana Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance, Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai has rallied stakeholders in the health industry to devise a multi-sector approach to halt the threats of ailments such as stroke, diabetes and others in the country.
Addressing a high level meeting in Accra on NCDs, Dr Wiafe urged stakeholders to give primary considerations to the universally acclaimed public education strategy in combating the threat of these diseases.
According to her, the major causes of deaths in the country have shifted from predominantly communicable diseases to a combination of communicable and chronic and non-communicable diseases.
Over the last few decades, Dr Wiafe revealed hypertension, diabetes, stroke and cancers have become the top major causes of death locally.
‘’There is no telling that public education, prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for NCDs should be a National priority’’, Dr Wiafe Addai intimated.
The cancer surgeon challenged stakeholders to upscale education on lifestyle and daily living.
The increase in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, sugar, smoking and junk foods, Dr Wiafe noted is having a serious effect on the health of Ghanaians.
She indicated that the lack of physical exercises compounded by a sedentary lifestyle have combined to partly give rise to the wave of these non-communicable diseases.
Dr Wiafe Addai therefore called for an immediate mobilization of civil society organizations to collaborate with the National health education campaign so as to cause a significant reduction in NCDs in the medium to long term.
Making a presentation on why the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) matter and its imperative of addressing NCDs at the meeting, Dr Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on SDGs called for a renewed commitment from political leadership to addressing the issue of non-communicable diseases.
The President, the advisor noted is committed to ensuring all the needed support is given to stakeholders in stemming the worrying tide of NCDs.
Dr Kyei-Faried, Director of Disease Control and Prevention and Tobacco Control Focal Person, GHS, in a presentation on the scaling up of national action for the prevention and control of NCDs in Ghana rallied for more innovative ways as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) in combating non-communicable diseases in the country.
Chairing the event, Professor Gyan Baffour, Minister for Planning and Chair, Inter-Ministerial Committee on the implementation of the UN SDGs tasked stakeholders to collaborate more in scaling up education on NCDs in the country and beyond.