The Chairperson for Ghana chapter of the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance and of the Ghana Cancer Board, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe – Addai wants Ghana to position itself well to take advantage of the United Nations Universal Health Coverage to end the NCD epidemic in the country.
According to her it will help seek the required interventions for people living with non-communicable diseases in the country.
She made this known at the Inaugural National High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases organized in Accra by the GhNCD Alliance in the lead up to the United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in New York later in the month of September this year.
According to her, Ghana cannot end its non-communicable disease epidemic without the Universal Health Coverage as envisioned by the United Nations, when people are finding it difficult to meet the costs of their diagnosis, treatment and care.
Statistics has revealed that nearly half of Ghana’s annual death rate, ranging from 42% to 44% of all deaths, is accounted for by NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and mental health.
Dr. Beatrice Wiafe- Addai told delegates at the High Level Meeting that, “If we are to address the health needs of our people, like those living with NCDs, we need to do so by ensuring everyone enjoys quality standards of care and financial protection as envisioned by the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Without UHC we cannot end the NCD epidemic”.
The High Level Meeting on Non- Communicable Diseases brought together government representatives, civil society organizations, international and local NGOs, relevant patient groups and representatives of persons living with NCDs among others.
The meeting among others, provided the platform for key health stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, Civil Society Organizations and Persons Living with NCDs to discuss NCDs in the context of achieving Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage.
A representative of the community of People Living with NCDs, Christopher Abgegah, observed at the meeting that Ghana could not afford to exclude NCDs from its national health and development agendas since the country’s health system is under stress as a result of the rapid spread of NCDs.
“Treatment of NCDs comes at a huge cost that undermines workforce productivity and the economic prosperity of the country. We need to begin to seriously consider how UHC might become the tool to both treat and prevent the NCD epidemic.” He said.
The Deputy Minister for Health, Hon. Alexander Kodwo Kom Abban, on his part, expressed government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Universal Health Coverage at the national level and ending the NCD epidemic in the country.
According to him, the Ghana government is taking proactive action in responding to the NCD epidemic in the country.
“We laud the WHO’s efforts to have UHC on the global health agenda and we strongly support the notion that commitments to make UHC a reality globally going forward will rely on individual governments making the right call at the national level.” He said.
The United Nations High Level Meeting on the Universal Health Coverage to be attended by world leaders in late September 2019, in New York, aims to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
It will be held under the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World,”.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com