Civil society organisations led by Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) have called for the imposition of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBS) in Ghana to raise revenue for health financing in the country.
The tax would also help in reducing the consumption of the products, which would eventually improve the health outcomes of the citizenry.
They said Ghana like most African countries were experiencing consistent increase in obesity and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with the rampant availability of SSBs on the Ghanaian markets.
The call was made at a sensitisation seminar for journalists in Accra on the public health implication of SSBs to support in the campaign for the enactment of SSB tax in Ghana.
The seminar was part of the advocacy activities geared towards achieving the objectives of the Advocating for Health (A4H) Project being co-implemented by Ghana NCD Alliance, University of Ghana, Ghana Public Health Association, and the Ghana Academy of Nutrition Dietetics.
Mr Labram Musah, the National Coordinator of the GhNCDA in a presentation expressed unhappiness about the way producers of the SSBs have flooded the Ghanaian markets with their products creating health and socio-economic problems to the people.
He said the increase in the consumption of the products would thwart the efforts of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals from ‘1’ to ‘8’ and entreated the government to urgently consider passage of SSB tax law.
“Ghana cannot afford the magnitude of NCDs levels since the diseases have not been listed on the national health insurance scheme and therefore the government must act now,” he stated.