Civil Society Status Report on NCD Response unveiled

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Unveiling Civil Society Status Report
Unveiling Civil Society Status Report

The Civil Society Status Report on NCD Response in Ghana has been officially launched with the aim of providing reliable and credible information that will enhance and shape the country’s NCD policy implementation.

This Civil Society Status Report (CSSR) was developed by the Ghana NCD Alliance and “supported by the NCD Alliance’s Advocacy Institute NCDs and UHC Programme as part of the NCD Alliance’s partnership with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation”.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the National Coordinator of the Ghana NCD Alliance, Labram M. Musah, explained that the status report highlights the relevance of policy, plans, and strategies for NCD prevention and control as well as identifies areas for immediate action.

Adding that, the report also provides insights for future tactics to enhance civil society, relevant private sector, and government engagement.

According to him, the report compiles and showcases the progress made, the barriers, and the success stories of civil society-government as well as private sector collaborations, lessons learnt, and offers evidence-based recommendations and concrete tips to help guide national action against NCDs.

“The WHO estimates that 41 million people worldwide die yearly from NCDs, representing 71% of all fatalities worldwide.

85% of these “premature” deaths which affect more than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 every year occur in low- and middle-income nations.

The majority of non-communicable disease deaths (17.9 million per year) are caused by cardiovascular diseases, followed by cancer (9.3 million), respiratory illnesses (4.1 million), and diabetes (1.5 million).

With similar risk factors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful alcohol use, and poor diets), these four disease groups account for more than 80% of all premature NCD fatalities.

NCDs are set to overtake communicable diseases, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases combined as the leading cause of mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 if effective interventions are not put in place to curb this epidemic.

Even though Ghana has been apt in adopting policies in response to its global and regional commitments against NCDs, we cannot say that the fight is won given that NCDs are continuously damaging our social and economic stability; killing over ninety-four thousand (94,000) people annually and rendering many children neglected,” he disclosed.

In this regard, a Civil Society Status Report on NCDs is needed, to inform a ‘Call to Action’ to improve the Government’s and Civil Society Organizations’ response to NCDs in Ghana.

Since the report presents a reflection of Ghana’s NCD civil society watchdog view on the state of Ghana’s NCDs efforts toward its global NCD commitments.

In his remarks, Professor Richmond Aryeetey, Public Health Nutrition Specialist and Head of the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health at the University of Ghana, commended all and sundry for their efforts in ensuring the Report’s successful launch.

According to him, the status report will assist in identifying the barriers and challenges from the perspectives of the government, CSOs, and private sectors, as well as the practical actions required to address them, and will assist decision-makers in making implementation processes more people-centered and inclusive.

Overall, the findings from this report are to inform a Call to Action to improve the governments’ and civil society organizations’ response to the growing burden of NCDs in Ghana.

However, Professor Richmond Aryeetey said that although the government has taken some positive steps toward the fight against NCDs, there are still funding gaps.

He, therefore, underscored the urgent need to increase budget allocation for NCD Prevention and control.

Dr. Efua Commeh, Non-Communicable Diseases Acting Programme Manager at the Ghana Health Service in an interview expressed worry about the manner in which more young persons are now being diagnosed with stroke and other NCD- related diseases in the country.

Dr. Efua Commeh blamed this on the high intake of oily and fatty foods; she said there is a need for all and sundry to stay away from unhealthy diets that have the tendency of triggering these diseases.

Adding that preventing NCDs requires a multidimensional approach and called for collaboration with the government and CSOs to help in the prevention, detection, management, and treatment of NCDs in Ghana.

About Ghana NCD Alliance
Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) is a network of NGOs working in diverse areas of health and development with a common vision of creating a healthy Ghana, free from non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Formed in 2017, the GhNCDA has worked assiduously towards achieving its vision through; advocacy, capacity building, health promotion, policy support, engagement with government officials/agencies, community mobilization, and the meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs.

The GhNCDA team works each day towards reducing NCD- related deaths and disabilities in Ghana and beyond.

The GhNCDA activities are all geared toward preventing NCDs, empowering people living with NCDs, and driving the need for policies that protect Ghanaians, especially children and youth from the risk factors of NCDs.

 

 

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