GHANA Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCD) and and other CSOs actors have joined the world to commemorate World Diabetes Day, with a call on government of Ghana to put measures to reduce the increasing cases of diabetes and NCDs in Ghana.
The Ghana NCD Alliance and other CSOs actors urged the government through the Ministry of Finance to legislate or earmark the excise tax to support the National Health Insurance in proving the needed support for the treatment, care and support for people living with NCDs.
According to the groups, the NCDs are treatments are very costly and beyond individual financial capabilities especially the poor and vulnerable groups.
The groups noted that the government should institute a National Physical Activity Day on weekly or monthly basis to imbibe onto everyone the significance of physical activity.
This year's celebration was held on theme: Access to Diabetes Care When people are empowered to manage their diabetes holistically, they control their lives.
Diabetes is a global health challenge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Access to comprehensive diabetes care has been limited in these regions, leaving many individuals without the necessary support and treatment.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 10.5% of the adult population between 20-79 years has diabetes, with almost half unaware that they are living with the condition.
Over 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is driven by socio-economic, demographic, environmental, and genetic factors. The key contributors to the rise in type 2 diabetes include urbanisation, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity, and increasing overweight and obesity prevalence.
However, it is possible to reduce the impact of diabetes by taking preventive measures for type 2 diabetes and providing early diagnosis and proper care for all types of diabetes.
These measures can help people living with the condition avoid or delay complications.
In Ghana, about 2.4 million people are living with diabetes, and approximately 7.5% of adults have Type-2 Diabetes.
Despite the alarming prevalence of diabetes in Ghana, many people may have still not been diagnosed, and there are fears that the numbers may be higher.
This year’s theme, “Access to Diabetes Care”, highlights the vast gap between those who have access to insulin, their medications and support for self-management to control their diabetes as well as essential technologies such as blood glucose meters and test strips and those who do not.
The year-long campaign seeks to intensify awareness of access to medicines and care for persons with diabetes that will enable them to enjoy a good quality of life and avoid early death, loss of sight, amputations and other diabetes-related repercussions.
"Effectively addressing NCDs will take collaboration across all sectors and levels as well as increased and sustained investment, especially in the most vulnerable countries, where the heaviest burden of diabetes and other NCDs is felt," says Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance.
Ghana NCD Alliance has made significant strides in strengthening our commitment to improving access to diabetes care through innovative partnership, engagements and awareness with stakeholders and the general public.
As we mark World Diabetes Day, we will strengthen our commitment to providing better access to diabetes care, prevention and education through advocacy, capacity building, knowledge exchange and stakeholder collaboration.
We must place a premium on adopting healthy lifestyles, which include a good diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption.
We call on the government to ensure quality, affordable care for people with diabetes by integrating NCD prevention and care into the national Universal Health Coverage (UHC) benefit packages.
Raising community awareness of easily identifiable risk factors for diabetes and recognised strategies for reducing personal risks are essential fundamental strategies for informing, educating and motivating people who do not have diabetes but who may be at risk to recognise their diabetes risk status, adopt preventive actions to reduce them, and encourage people who already have diabetes but do not yet know it to seek early diagnostic testing and treatment.
The government should strengthen the health workforce and institutional capacity to use and maintain equipment, understand information systems and documentation requirements, requirements for accountability and reporting, interpret and apply policy and guidelines, and continuously monitor and improve the quality of services.
People living with diabetes should be meaningfully involved in policy decisions relating to prevention, treatment, care and support.
The Government is responsible for providing essential medications to those who need them at an affordable price and at the time of need.
There are several strategies which can help achieve this, which include group purchasing, coordinating the input of donors, efficiency measures to prevent loss of medications, efficiency measures to enhance processing/dispensing and reduce handling costs as well as training and providing incentives for doctors to reduce the prescription of excessive and unnecessary medications.
The recently passed Excise Duty Amendment Act (Act 1093) is showing rise in government revenue according to the Ghana Revenue Authority.