8th May, 2020
Prioritize the health needs of people living with NCDs in Eastern Region especially during Covid-19
People Living with Non-communicable Diseases in the Eastern Region under the leadership of the Ghana NCD Alliance is appealing to the government of Ghana, through the relevant Regional health directorate and the Eastern Regional Ministergive special attention to people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country which has not speared the Eastern Region. Eastern Region currently has 95 recorded cases.
Currently, preparations are being made to prevent and contain the Covid-19 cases but little is said about protocols to manage patients with chronic conditions despite the fact that people living with NCDs stands to encounter serious health implications should they contract the Covid-19. In addition, older people and people with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, Stroke, diabetes, respiratory disorders among other NCDs are more prone to becoming severely ill with the virus.People with mental health and Alzheimer’s conditions also suffers significantly due to the fear and anxiety this pandemic carries.
Most of NCDs are preventable and treatable. However, they can also create serious social and economic problems without timely and effective control.
People living with NCDs in the Eastern Region calls on the government to ban the sale of tobacco (cigarettes) and alcoholic beverages including the advertisement of alcohol on TV and radio to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.These products are known to be major risk factors of NCDs and by extension increase the risk of Covid-19 infection.
“South Africa, in the wake of their over month lockdown to defeat COVID-19, has banned the sale of alcohol and cigarettes warning that offenders risked being prosecuted and either fined or jailed. Tobacco is not recognised as an essential item especially, in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
Already, people living with NCDs are faced with numerous challenges with regards to access to quality healthcare and high cost of medications.Most of our drugs are not on the list of the National Health Insurance Scheme. We therefore call on government to absorb the cost of our treatment and care.
It is important to strengthen the healthcare system in Ghana to offer integrated care that addresses not only COVID-19 pandemic but also chronic illnesses. We deserve to be supported by government institutions, healthcare providers, families and friends.
The Ghana NCD Alliance at the National level has rolled out series of awareness and educational activities in many of the regions especially in hard to reach communities including the Eastern Region.
While we plead with people living with NCDs and those with predisposed health conditions mentioned above to follow all the precautionary measures with much discipline and eat a well-balanced diet to boost their immune system to keep them fit, we also entreat healthcare givers to give us special treatment in this hard and uncertain time.
We urge all people specially people living with NCDs and Chronic diseases
- Take medications and follow medical advice
- Maintain your visiting schedule with your doctor
- Report any symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, breathing difficulty to any hospital or call the toll free lines (055-8439868, 050-9497700 and 112)
- Practice social distancing especially if you happen to be in any public place, at least two meters
- Wash hands with soap under running water and apply hand sanitizers
- Quit and avoid smoking and the consumption of alcohol
- Engage in recreational activities and activate your hobbies; read, watch documentaries/movies, gardening, listen to radio and above all be physically active at all time while at home
- For more information Contact Representatives of the Eastern Region PLWNCDs
Bernice Otema (0549880475) PLWNCDs
Ad Adams Ebenezer –Vice Chairman Ghana NCD Alliance–email@example.com
Labram Musah-National Coordinator, Ghana NCD Alliance-0243211854 firstname.lastname@example.org