The Ghana Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance has called on government to adopt measures to curb the incessant cases of diabetes in the country.
According to the Alliance, although there are about 2.4 million people living with diabetes, and approximately 7.5% of adults with Type-2 diabetes many Ghanaians have not been diagnosed.
This implies that there are many more people with the disease yet are oblivious to their health status.
This was made known in a press release to mark the annual World Diabetes Day, dubbed “Access to Diabetes Care’ aimed at breaching the gap in access to insulin, medications, and support for self-management to control diabetes.
To manage diabetes, the Alliance called for a collaboration between the government and private sector to ensure that all Ghanaians are educated on the disease to increase prevention.
The release emphasized that the government was a major stakeholder in achieving this mandate hence the Alliance highlighted measures the government can adopt to reduce the disease.
“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,” the release said.
The release continued that raising community awareness of easily identifiable risk factors for diabetes and recognised strategies will help reduce personal risks as it will educate people who do not have diabetes to be able to recognise symptoms so they can report to health facilities for early testing and treatment.
The NCD alliance also advised the government to strengthen the health workforce and institutional capacity to use and maintain equipment to improve the quality of services offered.
Further, the release asked that the policy decisions be enacted for diabetic patients which will help in prevention, treatment, care, and support.
Again, the Alliance said the government was responsible for providing essential medications to those who need them at an affordable price therefore the State must ensure that these essential medications are provided to those who need them at an affordable price and at the time of need.
The group added that “the government should institute a National Physical Activity Day on a weekly or monthly basis to imbibe onto everyone the significance of physical activity.”
Finally, the NCD alliance urged the government to legislate or earmark the excise tax to support the National Health Insurance in providing the needed support for the treatment, care, and support for people living with NCDs. NCDs are treatments that are very costly and beyond individual financial capabilities, especially the poor and vulnerable groups.