The newly launched Ghana Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (GhNCDA) says even though it welcomed the restrictions by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on alcohol advertisements in the country, an extension of the time to 10 pm would be more ideal for the purpose the ban is intended to serve.
The FDA recently put restrictions on alcohol advertisement on Public Radio in the country. Per the directive, alcoholic products can only be advertised between the hours of 8:00pm and 5:00am. This is to ensure that children are not negatively influenced by what they see or hear on prime time radio and television. The restriction came at a time advertisement of alcoholic beverages became dominant in the media amidst growing public concerns for state agencies to take some action due to the negative impact on future leaders.
The GhNCDA is of the view that “the recent upsurge of alcohol advertisement on TV and Radio and Billboards are all means of targeting our kids to become smokers or alcoholics when they grow. Same can be said about the increasing opening of spots in almost every corner of Ghana selling alcoholic beverages,” stated Ebenezer Adams, vice chairman of GhNCDA.
He was speaking at the official launch of the Alliance in Accra. The vision for the Alliance is to create a healthy Ghana free of NCDs. It aims to be a leading organization contributing to reducing NCD related deaths and disabilities through health promotion, proper coordination, health system strengthening and improving the quality of lives of people living with NCDs in Ghana, among others.
The National Coordinator of the GhNCDA, Labram Massawudu Musah, said the Alliance will advocate for government’s Commitments ahead of the United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs which is expected later this year. This they will do by holding NCD partner meetings and public fora to increase the level of NCDs awareness in the country. They will hold strategic engagement meetings with government and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health to discuss the need for the government to give priority to NCDs which has become a threat to development and national agenda.
The Alliance will also be holding a multi sectorial stakeholder forum on NCDs to update them on NCDs, discuss the challenges and how to refocus attention to effectively control NCDs and also develop publicity materials to support National NCD awareness days.
“Although some NCDs cannot be avoided, much of the global NCD burden can be prevented by addressing diet, physical activity, tobacco, and alcohol use and making the places we live in ones that promote health,” he stated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative for Ghana, Dr. Owen Kaluwa, in a solidarity message said people must be empowered and involved in activities for the prevention and control of NCDs, including Advocacy, Policy, Planning, Legislation, Service Provision, monitoring, research and Evaluation.
“Multiple actors, both State and non-State actors including civil society, academia, industry, non-governmental and professional organizations need to be engaged for non-communicable diseases to be tackled effectively.” Kaluwa stated.
A representative of the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, assured the gathering that Ghana will be duly represented at the 2018 UN High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases and that the country would make a good case for NCD Control in Ghana.
The global epidemic of NCDs has widely been acknowledged as a major development challenge in the 21st century, and a significant threat to achieving internationally agreed development goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition to being the leading cause of death, NCDs impose years of disability on those affected and their families.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh