Ghana Loses 94000 Lives To NCDs Every Year

Ghana loses 94,000 lives every year to the increasing rate of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Available statistics from the Ghana Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance and the Ghana Health Service indicate that NCDs which are mainly cancer, cardiovascular, chronic respiratory and diabetes are the causes of 43% of all deaths in Ghana.

This development places Ghana’s health system under-stress.
At the launch of the Advocacy Agenda of People Living with NCDs, members of the Ghana NCD Alliance are unhappy about the treatment of NCDs.

According to them treatment of NCDs is cost intensive and the condition most at times undermines workforce productivity and economic growth of the country.
The Coordinator of the Ghana NCD Alliance, Labram Musah said Promoting healthy diets, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco control as well as combating air pollution through effective measures are critical to reduce premature death and disability from NCDs.

He said: “Ghana cannot afford to exclude NCDs from it national health and development agendas any longer and nor can it ignore the role that those people living with NCDs must play in policy making if we are to turn back an epidemic that is ripping communities apart and forcing catastrophic, out of pocket health expenditures”.

“We also know that we could save 22,000 lives annually if we implemented the WHO Best Buys of prevention and control of NCDs but to get there, we need the meaningful involvement of People Living with NCDs in the rollout of policy, “ he added.

Deputy Minister of Health, Alexander Kwodwo Abban, who launched the Agenda indicated that in an effort to prevent and eradicate the NCDs in the country, government would soon include the diseases in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), stressing that the government is working to impose tax on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages in the country in effect of reducing the patronage among young people.

Hon. Abban said: “The Ministry of Health is making NCD prevention and control a key priority and will ensure that the draft National NCD policy is completed and adopted according to deadline. Implementation of NCDs policies in years gone has been a huge challenge but I wish to assure the Ghanaian people that my government is up to the task and that this policy which places people at the heart of the response, will when ready, get the full support from the ministry for effective implementation”.

World Health Organisation (WHO) also revealed that NCDs kill about 40 million people globally each year, accounting for 70% of all deaths, whilst close to 15 million of those deaths are among people between the ages of 30 and 69.
However low and middle-income countries are particularly affected by NCDs with more than 80% of all deaths from NCDs occurring in these countries.

“Most of these premature deaths from NCDs are largely preventable by enabling health systems to respond more effectively and equitably to the healthcare of people with NCDs and influencing public policies in sectors outside health that tackle shared risk factors –namely tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and the harmful use of alcohol.”


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