Theme: Investing in NCD service delivery at primary health care level to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
This year marks the fifth in a series of “National High-Level Meetings on NCDs” organised by GhNCDA to elevate the NCD challenge for national visibility and response. This year GhNCDA is collaborating with PHSAG with funding from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ghana Heart Initiative (GHI), World Vision International (WVI) and PATH to extensively engage stakeholders to fashion a direction for the national response in collaboration with MoH and GHS guided by the National Health Policy, National NCD Policy, and National NCD Strategy.
Ghana has a dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases however inadequate health financing and donor focus has led to a prioritization of communicable (infectious) diseases over non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs however rank high among the top 10 causes of death in Ghana, and it is important that some attention is brought to the devastating nature of the emerging NCD epidemic. Combined, NCDs are now a major cause of death globally and in Ghana. The National Policy on Non-Communicable Diseases 2022 identifies the need for collaborative efforts led by the Ministry of Health to address all NCDs in a holistic way. This means an inclusive, transparent, and effective multisectoral collaboration is needed to address this problem. It is in this vein that Ghana NCD Alliance (GhNCDA) and Private Health Sector Alliance of Ghana (PHSAG) see the need to collaborate to bring on board other relevant stakeholders (MoH, GHS, NCD Programme, NHIA, private health sector, CSOs, local and international organizations) to support the national response to the NCD challenge.
Since 2018, GhNCDA has held four successful “National High-Level Meetings on NCDs” with an aim to elevate the pressing NCDs problem to become a national priority using a multisectoral approach. The GhNCDA has partnered with relevant stakeholders to bring the NCD problem to the fore in Ghana. In doing so, it seeks to support national efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) declaration on NCDs as well as the National NCD Policy and Strategy.
PHSAG recognises the severe effect of NCDs on its member associations, societies and stakeholders and seeks to garner support from key stakeholders to provide a response involving the whole of the private health sector. Private health care providers are important gatekeepers at community level and can provide important first line management of all types of NCDs to avoid significant morbidity and mortality.
Ghana in recent times has provided leadership at the global level; hosted the 1st International Strategic Dialogue on NCDs and SDGs; chaired the 1st Gathering of the Heads of States and Government on NCD during the UN General Assembly co-hosted by Ghana, Norway and WHO, among others. This National High-Level Meeting on NCDs will leverage the current momentum for actualization of agreed national level roadmap as well as engage the private sector to act through public-private partnerships to implement the national policy and strategy.
The Meeting will bring together relevant national stakeholders from government, development partners, private sector, civil society organisations, private sector, patients’ groups, academia and researchers, media, trade unions, medical professionals, people living with NCDs, and the youth among others. It will leverage on the theme of Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC 2022) and drive home the call for adequate investment to reduce out of pocket payment especially for the poor.
PHSAG and GhNCDA therefore are collaborating to organise this year’s high-level meeting bringing all relevant stakeholders in the national NCD response, MoH, GHS, development partners (GIZ, WHO), CSOs (PATH & World Vision International) and private sector partners together to discuss the challenges of Ghana’s NCD epidemic and how to respond in line with the national policy and strategy.