Some health experts have expressed great alarm here on the rate of increase in Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) among Ghanaians.
Joana Ansong, health promotion officer at the World Health Organization Ghana office said the country’s situation was alarming, as it cut across income and age groups.
“Ghana’s case is not an isolated one. Let me say that in Ghana, previously we had infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. But now Ghana is actually experiencing what we call the triple burden of disease,” she told Xinhua.
She attributed the increase in the NCDs in the country to the advancement in society that made urban dwellers run tight schedules and eat junk food, but with very little physical exercise.
Last year more than 80,000 people reported to health facilities across the country with chronic diseases, including 22,000 new cases of cancers, besides hypertension, diabetes and kidney diseases, according to the Ghana Health Service official data.
“About 43 percent of hospital deaths are due to chronic diseases. We have realized that for every hospital in Ghana if you take the top five causes of death, you have one NCD in there: including strokes, heart attack, hypertension, kidney diseases,” Afua Commey, Deputy Programs Manager for the NCDs Prevention Program at the Ghana Health Service told Xinhua.
She attributed this to unhealthy eating habits, excessive alcohol intake, smoking and lack of regular exercising, urging Ghanaians to modify their lifestyles.
Deputy Minister for Health, Alexander Abban disclosed that the NCDs Preventions Program Directorate was working on a policy and strategy which would be finalized next month for the country to be able to combat the emergence of NCDs.
“NCDs have huge cost burdens, not only on the individual but also on the state. So we have to start a proper strategy to educate our people,” Abban noted