KOFIH launches national campaign to promote health and well-being

KOFIH launches national campaign to promote health and well-being

The Ghana Chapter of the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH) has launched a national campaign to promote health and well-being among the citizenry to help reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

The year-long campaign by the group of healthcare professionals seeks to put NCDs as a front-burner issue on Ghana’s health agenda to reduce prevalence and marshal needed resources to improve disease prevention and management.

The NCDs Programme Manager at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Efua Commeh in an address expressed worry over the increasing cases of NCDs at health facilities each year, which were mostly preventable with healthy lifestyle behaviours.

“Cases are going up every year at our facilities because behavioural risk factors like poor eating habits (fast foods), physical inactivity, sedentary lifestyles etc, are on the rise.
We need to be cautious of what we eat and drink and have healthy lifestyles at the back of our minds to help reduce these diseases in the country,” she urged.

Dr Commeh identified that the traditional health system placed much focus on tackling infectious diseases and others like maternal and child health issues hence the little attention and investment into NCDs.

“We need to do more in terms of training of health workers, financial resources, enhancing control and treatment strategies among others.

Traditionally, our health system has been focused on infectious diseases, but we see that globally the death rate of these chronic diseases (NCDs) is fast catching up with the infectious diseases and we must strengthen interventions,” she stated.

The Programme Manager advised Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles which could go a long way to minimise their exposure to NCDs and reduce the burden in the country.

President of the Alumini, Dr Ralph Armah, observed that NCDs have not had much traction because of the overwhelming burden of infectious diseases and limited resources available.
“Deaths from NCDs globally are high accounting for 41 million or 70 % of global deaths with the WHO estimates for Ghana at 94,000 deaths as at 2016.

80 percent of these deaths are from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases and calls for us to strengthen interventions in these areas.”
He said KOFIH would in coming days embark on activities including public sensitisation, awareness creation screenings, provision of tool kits to selected hospitals among others to reduce the NCD burden.

NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.
The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

They disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries, where more than three quarters of global NCD deaths, about 31.4 million occur.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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