Chairperson of the Ghana Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (GhNCD), Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, has urged the country to view the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as a wake-up call for the enhancement of healthcare delivery system in the country.
The virus which entered Ghana in mid-March 2020 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). As part of moves to contain the spread of the disease, the government of Ghana has promised to construct about 88 hospitals in all districts and regions without hospitals. This Dr Wiafe-Addai has described as “a positive gain from the pandemic”.
She said the emergence of the pandemic has also called for the decentralization of some aspects of care for NCDs in Ghana and improved communications between patients and health care professionals.
Among others the pandemic has also “brought to the fore the psychological needs of Persons Living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) and their care givers. This calls for the engagement of psychologists to deal with the psychosocial needs of these persons,” she stated, adding that “the need for more healthcare professionals, especially in the various specialties has also emerged,” she stated.
Dr Wiafe-Addai said this when she addressed an online meeting of the Ghana NCD Alliance. The meeting which was via Zoom was to enable participants assess the impact of Covid-19 on people’s health especially PLWNCDs.
She appealed to caregivers to review the care plan for persons with NCDs to conform and suit the Covid-19 protocols. She was of the view that PLWNCDs are more vulnerable to the covid-19 pandemic and so must be given special and enhanced attention in situations where they are more exposed. She advised PLWNCDs to strictly adhere to all the Covid-19 and NCDs Protocols.
“PLWNCDs should strictly comply with NCD protocols between them and their health care giver, adhere to strict compliance with hospital appointment and drug intake, Healthy diet intake, and have mild to moderate form of exercise, good rest, as well as good sleep,” the Chairperson of Ghana NCD Alliance cautioned, Dr. (Mrs.) Wiafe-Addai who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospitals; and the President of Breast Care International (BCI) stated.
Advisor to the Minister of Health who is also the Chief Program Officer of Medical and Dental, at the Health Ministry, Dr. Baffour Awuah, on his part announced that the government has started the construction of infectious disease centers at strategic locations in the country to help curb NCDs and its related health issues.
He said government’s Agenda 88 is being rolled out to improve access to health care by the provision of 7 Regional and 88 District Hospitals in parts of the country which are currently without Regional or District Hospitals
He said the draft NCD policy, developed by Ministry of Health would soon receive approval and implemented across the country. This according to him would allow Wellness clinics, Screening and early detection as well as intensive health promotion and literacy programs to be rolled out.
The virtual meeting moderated by the National Coordinator of the GhNCDA, Labram Musah was themed “COVID-19 Versus Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) “Virus” Taking Advantage of an Already Bad Situation Covid-19”.