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An international Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Compact 2022-2030 has been introduced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to hasten the prevention and control of NCDs.
The roadmap urges all nations to hasten and enhance their responses to the implementation of SDG 3.4, which aims to reduce premature mortality from NDCs by one-third through prevention and treatment, as well as the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, by 2030.
The Compact will spur action to fulfill five distinct, deadline-bound obligations and close the implementation gap. These obligations, which must be met by 2030, include preventing the deaths of 50 million people from NDCs and safeguarding the lives of 1.7 million people who have NCDs during humanitarian crises.
Additionally, it would entail providing all people with quality, affordable, safe, and essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and health technology for the prevention and control of NCDs, as well as engaging 1.7 million people who live with NCDs and mental health conditions to encourage governments to develop more ambitious national NCD responses.
On Tuesday in Accra, Ghana, the President introduced the initiative at the first high-level international strategic dialogue on non-communicable diseases. In order to speed up the execution of the promises made in the UN Political Declarations of the High-Level Meetings of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs in 2011, 2014, and 2018, he also established an informal international group of heads of state and government.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations call for reducing premature deaths from NCDs, which kill almost five times as many people as communicable diseases worldwide. Ghana, Norway, and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly hosted the Dialogue.
The Dialogue brought together significant participants from the public and private sectors, academics, business, and international development specialists to exchange expertise and ideas.
The WHO estimates that NDCs account for 21 million deaths each year, or 71% of all fatalities worldwide. More than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 die from an NCD every year, with low- and middle-income countries accounting for 85% of these "premature" fatalities. The majority of NCD deaths, or 17.9 million individuals per year, are caused by cardiovascular diseases, followed by cancer (9.3 million), respiratory illnesses (4.1 million), and diabetes (4.1 million) (1.5 million). These four disease categories, which share similar risk factors (tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful alcohol use, and poor diets), account for more than 80% of all premature NCD fatalities.
President Akufo-Addo noted that NCDs had changed the world and had become the leading cause of death in many countries in an address read for him by the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare. He stressed that the trend would worsen unless drastic action was taken.
The link between non-communicable illnesses and susceptibility to severe COVID illness had also been made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic, he pointed out, and he said that this "must drive new approaches if we genuinely want to make substantial advance with NCDs Prevention and Control."
The President noted that the pandemic had largely succeeded in drawing attention away from other diseases that were burdening people and society in a similar way, with serious immediate and, more importantly, long-term socioeconomic repercussions.
"I'm referring to non-communicable diseases, also known as the "Silent Killer," or NCDs.
He claimed that Ghana's situation wasn't all that dissimilar from that of other Lower Middle-Income Countries.
Data from the Ghana Health Service's NCD Programme indicates that, on average, 1 out of every 5 patients who visited the out-patient department had been given a diagnosis of an NCD. 19.7% of OPD patients in 2021 will have an NCD diagnosis, up from 16.7% in 2017. The OPD received reports of some NCDs in the five years prior to 2017 including: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, accidents involving motor vehicles, asthma, stroke, depression, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.
"We need to as a people redouble our collective and individual efforts at correcting the trend which could undermine our national development," President Akufo-Addo said in his address to the gathering.
He claimed that his country's government, through the Ministry of Health and its agencies, revised the National Noncommunicable Disease Policy (NNCDP, 2022) and its companion Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases with the assistance of Development Partners (2022-2026).
All NCD interventions in the nation would receive direction and guidance from the policy framework.
The President noted that Ghana had updated its Essential Health Service Package and aligned it to a Life course approach and the various components of health, including Promote, Preventive, Curative, Rehabilitative, and Palliative Services, for a responsive and high-quality health service delivery for all.
In order to make NCDs less of a threat to public health and a barrier to socioeconomic growth, he said, "our goal as a nation is to ensure that their burden is minimized to the barest minimum."
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana will focus on health promotion, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use, diet and nutrition, vaccines, screening and early detection, clinical treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care in its national fight against NCDs.
He added that injuries, Sickle Cell Disease, mental health, oral health, and eye health would all receive special attention.
The supply of the required client-centered infrastructure and logistics, according to the president, has enhanced the nation's healthcare system.
In order to improve access to care and transform Ghana into a center of medical excellence and a popular destination for medical tourism, the ambitious Agenda 111 project, which aims to build six regional hospitals for the six newly created regions and an additional regional hospital for the Western Region, was brought up by the speaker.
President Akufo-Addo drew the audience's attention to the fact that maintaining an effective campaign against NCDs would necessitate a redefinition of national development ideologies that sought to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
He often emphasized the necessity of enacting a Multisectoral Governance Framework for broad health determinants as an essential component of national planning.
Leadership, coordinated multi-stakeholder engagement for health at the level of the government and at the level of a wide range of actors, health-in-all policies and whole-of-government approaches across sectors, as well as partnership with pertinent civil society and private sector entities, are required for this.
The President urged his counterparts to work hard to keep their promises regarding the prevention and management of NCDs.
"For a more audacious national NCD response, we need to find new ways to improve collaborations in resourcing, knowledge-sharing, and technical support... The UN Political Declarations of 2011, 2014, and 2018 High-Level Meetings of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs will be implemented more quickly as a result of this reaction.
Let's work together to stop the alarming rise in NCDs in our different nations. With the necessary political commitments, appropriate procedures and structures, development partner support, and citizen involvement, this is feasible, he continued.
The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, emphasized the need for nations to take affordable measures to lessen the burden of NCDs.
He claimed that nations facing the problem of early deaths from NCDs "may shift direction" with the appropriate strategic expenditures.
They could accomplish this by concentrating on a few things, such as limiting salt intake, increasing physical exercise, managing diabetes and hypertension, and getting vaccinated against the human papilloma virus.
In fact, from now until 2030, 84 cents per person every year may save more than seven million lives. By 2030, this investment would save approximately ten million lives from heart attacks and strokes and provide over 270 billion dollars in economic and societal benefits, he emphasized.
Dr. Ghebreyesus highlighted that dealing with NCDs required political, monetary, and technological commitment.
He urged Heads of State and Government to join the NCD Compact and make the necessary commitments to advance the prevention and control of NCDs on a global scale.
Other dignitaries that addressed the audience were the First Lady of Ghana, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, and the Prime Minister of Norway, who spoke virtually.
Origin: GNA

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