The Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) in collaboration with Medtronic LABS, have launched “Akoma Pa Project” to improve the diagnosis, and treatment of people living with hypertension and diabetes in rural areas.
The project being implemented by CHAG, was to find a technical solution together with Medtronic labs and Novartis Global Health which will form an ambitious programme against chronic diseases.
The project which would cost €1,662,065.35, sought to improve the local diagnosis and treatment of these diseases in rural communities in order to achieve the broadest possible delivery of health care.
It would concentrate on better and early diagnosis in order to prevent subsequent complications of these primary diseases.
It was being financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported in its implementation by the Deutsche Gesell-schaft fur Internationale Zusammenabeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Dr. James Duah, the Deputy Executive Director of CHAG, said the project sought to reach out to 70,500 patients living with hypertension and diabetes from 85 CHAG facilities across eight regions within one year.
He said it was expected that at the end of the period, half of the number enrolled into the program, would have an improved health outcome with a reduction in either their systolic or diastolic blood pressure and also a reduction in their fasting, random HBA1C blood glucose.
Currently, he said 30,000 patients had been enrolled with 20,590 fully managed, receiving medications and counselling services.
Dr. Duah said 43 per cent of deaths in Ghana were due to non-communicable diseases, and the increasing rate were due to the absence of diagnosis and treatment since people may not experience symptoms until they developed complications.
He said half of the country’s population allegedly suffers from hypertension and diabetes, and less than a third of those who were ill had been diagnosed while just about 22 per cent of patients were receiving treatment.
Ms Debbie Mangortey, the Programme Operation Manager of Medtronic LABS, said supplementary tools for the management of hypertension and diabetes like BP monitors, glucose meters, and tape measures had been provided to all participating facilities.
She said the project had also made available HBA1C analysers to 30 out of the 85 participating facilities to effectively manage patients with diabetes.
She said the project had improved about 1,000 patients enrolled so far and advised the public to regularly check their blood pressure and sugar levels and adhere to the treatment regime of the health providers.
Dr. Samuel Yaw Adu, the Medical Director at St. Michael’s Hospital, commended CHAG for selecting the Hospital as part of the 85 facilities selected as centres for the programme.