Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also referred to as lifestyle related disease tend to affect individuals over a long period of time. Characteristically, NCDs are not transmitted from one affected person to another. The major NCDs in Ghana include cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, heart disease and stroke), chronic respiratory diseases (such as asthma, COPD and bronchitis), diabetes and cancers among others.
The NCD Prevention and Control Programme (NCDCP), which is a unit under the Disease Control Department of the Ghana Health Service, has been leading in the programmatic efforts at NCD prevention and control.
Attain a healthy population for national development through a reduction in the burden of NCDs.
To prevent and control avoidable NCD-related morbidity and mortality through health promotion, strengthening of health systems and provision of health resources, partnerships and empowerment of communities.
Ensure that the burden of NCDs is reduced to the barest minimum to render it of little or no public health importance and an obstacle to socio-economic development.
The five (5) broad objectives for NCD prevention and control are to:
- Reduce exposure to risk factors that contribute to NCDs
- Strengthen early detection and management to reduce morbidity and mortality from NCDs
- Strengthen the Health System for NCD Prevention and Control
- Strengthen multisectoral collaboration for NCD Prevention and Control
- Ensure sustainable funding and other resources for NCD prevention and control
Strategies and activities towards achieving these objectives will be aligned to all sectors- governmental, non-governmental and private sector ensuring synergy and complementarity in NCD prevention and control.
The NCD Steering Committee which comprises of all relevant stakeholders will provide guidance and support to the NCDCP to continuously engage stakeholders and partners in implementing its mandate.
Functions of the NCDCP
The NCD Department of the Ghana Health Service has the following functions
- Provide technical leadership and promote NCD prevention and control interventions at all levels using accessible and affordable strategies and technologies
- Develop, support, coordinate and monitor interventions to reduce modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity
- Develop programmes aimed at early detection of NCDs and improve clinical and preventive care services
- Foster operational research on NCDs and their risk factors and to monitor NCD trends and patterns
- Lead in the development of Technical Guidelines for specific NCDs including guidelines for screening
- Collaborate with all sectors in the implementation of NCD prevention and Control programmes in Ghana