Minister of Health has launched the first ever National Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in Ghana.
This makes Ghana the third country in sub-Saharan Africa to encode such guidelines.
The guidelines were developed jointly by Ghanaian experts and local institutions under the coordination of the Ghana Heart Initiative, a project implemented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ghana Health Service (GHS), GIZ, with funding support from the Bayer AG.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, speaking at the event, said the guidelines were an important element in the sustainable strengthening of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) management in Ghana.
“The Ghana Heart Initiative is a great example of how stakeholders can join forces to address global health challenges.”
He said the development of the National Guidelines for the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases was among the most important results delivered so far, as it institutionalized a treatment standard for healthcare professionals on all levels of care.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the GHS, urged health professionals to embrace the use of the guidelines in the management of cardiovascular diseases to reduce morbidity and mortality.
Mr Colin Tyrer, the Cluster Division Head, Pharma South-East and West Africa for Bayer AG, expressed their commitment to promote access to quality healthcare in Ghana.
He said, “At Bayer, attaining our vision of ‘Health for All, Hunger for None’ means, enabling broader patient access to quality medicines and treatments worldwide.
“In light of this, we are committed to moving NCD care forward: developing capacities, enhancing awareness and improving infrastructure to tackle such diseases in West Africa.
The Ghana Heart Initiative represents a lighthouse project in this regard, helping us to better understand access components beyond drug availability and serving as a foundation and catalyst for subsequent initiatives around NCDs capacity building.” Mr Tyrer added.
the Director General of International Services, Mr. Carsten Schmitz–Hoffmann, speaking on behalf of GIZ, said, “These Guidelines have been developed by Ghanaians for Ghanaians.”
Over one hundred experts and health professionals from various health institutions across the country representing all levels of care have joined hands to produce this national treatment standard for cardiovascular diseases, ensuring a direct ownership and meaning,” he stated.
Dr. Alfred Doku, the Technical Director GHI, highlighting milestones attained by the initiative, said the project since inception had significantly strengthened the Ghanaian health care system through the development of CVD training manuals which had been used to train more than 650 health professionals.
This includes the supply of basic equipment for diagnosis and management of CVDs to beneficiary health facilities, the establishment of a CVD Support and Call Centre, and the improvement of nationwide CVD related data collection and management, he said.
The Ghana Heart Initiative is currently being rolled out to 10 additional regions following the successful pilot in the Greater Accra Region.