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–

Labram Musah-National Coordinator, Ghana NCD Alliance-0243211854






This report is  a practical assessment by Deborah Nukpetsi, SASNET-GHANA rehabilitation Professional for Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) at Peki Dzake health Center/Stroke center in the South Dayi District V/R, under the supervision of Miss Juliet Anaglo, Senior Physician Assistant through the direction of Mr. Ad Adams Ebenezer, the Executive Director of Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET –GHANA.) The exercise began on the 18th  of March 2020 and ended on the 31st of March 2020.

The idea behind this exercise, is to help assess the health  conditions and  understand the practical way of  life of persons living with Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) especially Persons living with strokes in terms of accessing health care at the community level and how this activities impacts on their health( improvements/ Quality of life) . From this practical assessments , it was deduced that, most of the  health centers  in and around the south dayi district   records high rate of hypertension and diabetes on daily basis. And these two conditions are major factors causing stroke  within the South dayi district and its surrounding communities. Therefore, interventions are much needed to curb these situation,such as scaling up  education  on causes of hypertension and diabetes which leads to stroke and/or premature death.  Also, there must be measures by the government, thus the Ministry of Health, Non Communicable Disease Control Program of the Ghana Health Service (NCDCP-GHS) and Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET GHANA) to address the impact of stroke,thus  on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for that matter.


The practical assessment exercise commenced on the 18th  of March 2020, through the direction of the Executive Director of Stroke Association Support Network (SASNET- GHANA) Mr Ad Adams Ebenezer with the support of the Volta regional Stroke Survivors Chairman Mr Samuel Sedodo , Mr Albert A. (organizer SASNET-VR) under the Supervision of the In-charge of the Center ,Miss Juliet Anaglo and Mentor Alexander Yeboah and other staff at the center .



There were cases at the Out Patient Department such as Malaria, Diabetes and persons with Stroke who were present at the center to have their Blood Pressure checked and to seek other forms of support at the center. A patient who visited the center was diagnosed with  hyperglycemia  and detained for treatment. IV ,normal saline was given during the initial treatment to neutralize the sugar level.

The acting Out Patient Department in charge assisted in handling the cases and  in checking of vital signs such as Body Temperature, Blood Pressure, weight and as well as Fasting Blood Sugar and Random Blood Sugar test to ascertain the condition of the patients present.

Normal blood sugar level rages from (3- 5.8mmol/L), below normal sugar (Below 3 mmol/L (hypoglycemia), over (hyperglycemia)6 – 8mmol/L

In other emergency case, IV Fluid was administered to a diabetic patient who was brought to the center earlier that day although her condition was critical we were able to normalize her condition and she was later discharged.


DAY 2 – 5

Based on the first day observations which was coupled with large numbers of patients having elevated BPs, we continued with the screening of Blood Pressures, Body Mass Index (BMI) and body temperatures for patients who were at the center on  that day, we mostly recorded high blood on the 2-5 day between 140-160 mmHg and 90-120 mmHg for patients between the ages of 21-55 and above.


DAY 6 & 7

Assessments continued with  practical sections, we conducted various tests; that includes:

  • HIV test; by using HIV test kit
  • Malaria test; By using Malaria Test Kit
  • Diabetes test; By using Glucometer


BMI = M/ (I)2

After collecting data from patients, we calculated

With Data of one patient as a rep. of a test case;

Weight = 74kg

Height = 1.63

BMI= M/(I)2

  • 74/ (1.63)2
  • 74/ (1.63*1.63)
  • 74/2.65 = 27.9



Underweight = less than 18.4

Normal range = 18.5 – 24.4

Overweight =24.5 – 29.4

Obese =      29.5


From the above calculation, it means that, the person whose data was collected is overweight and needs advice on diet, exercise regularly to prevent hypertension and any other additional conditions.




On the 8th  day, much assessments  took place at the consulting room and together with the Physicians Assistant we diagnose patients and counseled those who have high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and also the kind of medicine she prescribed to them.

Some of the medicines prescribedwereNifedipine, Amlodipine, atorvastatin, Losartan and Aspirin (for hypertension patient) and Metformin and Glibendclamine (Daonil) for Diabetic patient.

Education given to Diabetic patients to reduce sugar level in the blood most of which were due to diet includes;

  • Choosing a healthy carbohydrate food such as, brown rice oats, fruit and vegetables, beans.
  • Eating less sugar and salt
  • Taking less red meat
  • Using healthy oil in preparation of foods such as, olive oil, sunflower oil, avocados and many more
  • Avoiding the use of alcohol
  • Exercising regular according advice given at the center



Education given to hypertensive patient includes:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Monitoring BP, thus regular check up base on schedules
  • Eating balance food
  • Reducing salt intake
  • Reducing stress






At the Dispensary Unit, its was observed that, drugs given to the patients, the name of drug, quantity to be taken, number of times to take in a day, when and how to take it and also learnt the (FIVE Rs) which are very important to take note of and few abbreviations (Bd, Daily, Tds, ….) with regards to how patient needs to take their medications were explained to patient in the local languages, thus in Ewe and Twi.


  • Right person
  • Right medicine
  • Right dosage
  • Right route and
  • Right time

ABBREVIATIONS interpreting how to administer drug by patients  

  • = 12 hourly – e.g. morning 6 am and evening 6pm
  • Daily= 24 hourly e.g. Every 6am
  • Tds or Tid= 8 hourly – Three times daily. E.g. 6am- 2pm-10pm
  • Qid = 6 hourly- 4 times daily. E.g. 6am- 12pm – 6pm – 12am
  • Stat= once
  • Nocte= at night
  • PRN= when necessary
  • Suppository= to be inserted into anus
  • Pessary = to be inserted into vagina
  • Apply = to be apply on skin
  • V = intravenous – into the vein
  • M = intramuscular – into the muscle


Day 10 final day.

Our last assessments took place at the outpatient Department(OPD) and the maternity unit, there were interactions with midwife, on how they handle pregnant mothers who have High blood pressure, diabetes and or stroke.

Two forms of hypertension are recorded mostly at the center; hypertension in pregnancy is in 2 forms. 1. Chronic hypertension before pregnancy and 2. Hypertension developed during pregnancy which is called – PREGNANCY INDUCED HYPERTENSION (PIH). A pregnant woman developed high blood pressure due to the chemicals released by the placenta into the body and this result to a condition called eclampsia which can be mild, or severe.  This condition has to be carefully monitored and if the condition become severe the baby need to be terminated, so as to save the mother’s life.

Another condition is diabetes which when developed during pregnancy can affect the baby in the womb (HYPERGLYCEMIA). Mostly those effected babies are big in body size and need to be fed often to maintain a balance glucose in the body, lack or less breastfeeding would cause the baby to developed hypoglycemia which could lead to death.


Majority of the patient handled have High Blood Pressure, calculating their BMI shows that majority are overweight. Which means they have check their food intake, reduce stress and monitor their BP and Sugar level


Since high blood pressure and diabetes are the major factors contributing to stroke and/or premature death, there must be measures by the government to address the impacts of stroke on individual or support Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana (SASNET-GHANA) efforts and imitative that are geared to address these issues in the district, thus, by scaling ups actions on prevention on (hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc), treatment and rehabilitation.

There must be an advocate in both health facilities and communities to educate people on issues with regards to causes of hypertension and diabetes since they are leading agents causing stroke and premature death.                                                                                              Compiled by Deborah Nukpetsi Rehabilitation Professional for SASNETGHANA





Ad Adams Ebenezer ,Co- Founder &Executive Director of SASNET-GHANA and the President and Founder of Breast Care International, Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, has commended President Akuffo Addo for asking health care institutions in the country not to neglect Persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as they focused more on COVID-19 preventive protocols.

The President, in his latest address to the nation on COVID-19 gains and projections, cautioned against the neglect of NCDs which in themselves are fatal co- morbidities to the pandemic.

The chairperson and the Vice Chairman of the Ghana NCD Alliance, commended the timely Presidential intervention, noting that NCDs, which are life-long with higher morbidities, deserved consistent medical attention and care.

The Alliance, they said, had detailed personnel to step up its educational drive in a grand design to save patients who risked being sidelined as the Nation fought COVID-19, head-on.

Breast Care International (BCI) and Stroke Association Supportnetwork-Ghana(SASNET-GHANA)

had in a statement issued last week, cautioned policymakers and health care institutions against relegating the health needs of cancer patients onto the sidelines, as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe.

“As fatal as the pandemic could be, we are nonetheless encouraging hospitals to give equal attention to patients with non-communicable diseases, as evidence has shown that unattended, underlying non-communicable conditions could rather hasten the death of covid patients.”

Both leaders , noted that the President’s admonition on NCDs feeds into earlier directives issued by the working group of the World Health Organization, which directives aim at supporting countries in their efforts to strengthen the design and implementation of policies to treat people living with NCDs and prevent and control their risk factors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The world health body cautioned that “diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer patients, could be susceptible to COVID-19”, hence the measures aimed at limiting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on avoidable mortality and avoidable disability, for people living with, or affected by NCDs, and their risk factors.

“We urge our healthcare professionals not to entirely forget about NCDs, and people living with NCDs, who still require our attention”. concluded, in a statement issued and signed in Accra.