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Health expert calls for more funding to help tackle non-communicable diseases

Health expert calls for more funding to help tackle non-communicable diseases

Mon 30 Oct 2023 CHS News
Health expert calls for more funding to help tackle non-communicable diseases i

Dr. Elliot Koranteng Tannor, a Senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Medicine and Dentistry,  wants more funds to be made available for tackling non-communicable diseases. He notes that globally less funds are pumped into the prevention of these diseases. He was speaking at the 10th biennial scientific conference of the College of Health Sciences, KNUST.

According to the WHO, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 74% of all deaths globally. Each year, 17 million people die from an NCD before age 70; 86% of these premature deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Of all NCD deaths, 77% are in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr Tannor

However, Dr. Tannor observes that less than 1% of all global health funding is invested on Non-Communicable Diseases prevention. “Now it’s the Non-Communicable Diseases that are killing us more and the communicable disease are reducing. Focus has always been on malaria, HIV and Covid-19 because policymakers and governments know that when people are getting the covid it is communicable and we can get it but non-communicable is not looked at in that way,” he said.

This year’s conference is under the theme “Promoting Healthy Lives and Wellbeing”.  The conference provides platforms where researchers deliberate on human needs and community concerns as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. The conference will address various themes and sub-topics including mental health, nutrition among others. 

Professor Christian Agyare, Provost of the College, is optimistic the 2-day conference will help the college achieve its objectives. “As a college, our core mandate is to train and promote human resource for health care delivery, engage in extensive service within and outside Ghana, and undertake research to address important health issues and this conference will offer platform for us to achieve this mandate and use this medium for relevant discussion and brainstorming for national development,” he said.

Pro Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo called for urgent attention to mental health. “We cannot talk about wellbeing without mental health. There is no health without mental health, mental health is too important to be left to the professionals alone. Mental health is everyone’s business,” he said. Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang the Ashanti Regional Health Director assured that government is putting measures in place to quell Ghana’s disease burden. “Ghana has been recognized as a complex disease burden country and the government as part of strengthening primary health care has the National Health Policy, therefore Ghanaians should seek good health care.  “Health of Ghanaians population have improved in the last decade, every life expectancy is 63 years, however our improvement in healthy live and well-being has been slow from desired global impact,” he said.