Image source: @UNinGhana on Twitter

Government has launched a five-year strategic plan to deal with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country.

The Non-Communicable Diseases Compact 2022-2030 is expected to help accelerate the prevention and control of NCDs through the effective implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.4.

The goal advocates the reduction of premature mortality from NCD through treatment, prevention and promotion of mental health and wellbeing and is expected to be achieved by 2030.

It is estimated that more than 5,000 people died of cancer alone in 2020, while more than 40 per cent of people died of all NCDs across the continent.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative at the maiden International Strategic Dialogue on NCDs in Accra, Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo observed that the trend is alarming.

In an address read on his behalf by the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, President Akufo-Addo stated that the trend may worsen if drastic measures are not taken, adding that it is currently a major cause of death in many countries.

He observed that the Covid-19 pandemic diverted attention off the other disease burdens affecting the lives of people and wreaking havoc in societies with dire socio-economic consequences.

Mr Akufo-Addo suggested that this “must drive new approaches if we really want to make meaningful headway with NCDs prevention and control.”

In addition to this, “we need to, as a people, redouble our collective and individual efforts at reversing the trend which could threaten our national development.”

“Our goal, as a nation, therefore, is to ensure that the burden of NCDs are reduced to the barest minimum to render it of little or no public health importance and as an obstacle to socio-economic development,” he added.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said urgent steps must be taken to save the situation.

She noted that “decisive actions to address the determinants and the risk factors of NCDs need to be scaled up and speeded up.”