Ghana is mapped as global leader in the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs); having co-hosted the International Strategic Dialogue (ISD) on NCDs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) early this year as well as the adoption of a National NCD Policy and Strategy and the mainstreaming of NCDs in the National Development Planning Commission’s Medium Term National Development Policy Framework 2022-2025 etc, and by virtue of Ghana’s President, H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo being one of the Co-Chairs of Eminent Group of Advocates for UN SDGs etc., Ghana is in a prominent position to pioneer discussions that improve global efforts towards NCDs prevention and control. NCDs account for nearly 80% of deaths in low- and middle-income countries however, about only 1-2% of the global health funding is dedicated to preventing and treating NCDs.
A rapid assessment done by the World Health Organization (WHO) divulges that 75% of countries reported interruptions to NCD services, meanwhile the extreme loss of lives among persons living with NCDs (estimated between 60%-90% of COVID-19 deaths) as well as the economic derails experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that the prevention, and treatment of NCDs are indispensable to every nation’s development.In many countries especially developing economies, treatment for NCDs cost people living with/affected by NCDs huge out-of-pocket payment, severely impacting their household earnings.
Where public health systems are weak, payment for care can trap poor households in a cycle of debt, illness and extreme poverty, thus people living with NCDs are more likely to be absent from work, become unemployed or retire early. On human capital, NCDs ends 15 million lives every year prematurely, and thus reduces labour supply while increasing absenteeism in the workforce due to NCD-related illness and disability.
NCDs impede the educational attainment of children and adolescents, and makes it impossible for caregivers to participate in the labour market.
In view of such evidence, the World Economic Forum has ranked NCDs among the top global threats to economic development.
WHO estimates that an investment of under $1 per person per year in cost-effective measures to prevent and treat NCDs could save 7 million lives in LMICs by 2030. Urgent government action is needed to meet global targets to reduce the burden of NCDs, including S