Efforts against CVDs receive €1.7m boost

Dr. Timo Menniken, Director General, International Services of GIZ,

The Ghana Heart Initiative (GHI) has received €1.7m facility to support the country’s effort in combating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) with emphasis laid on Cardiovascular Disease (CVDs).

The facility was provided by Bayer – an international economic enterprise with core competence in life science fields on health care management system and agriculture.

This was revealed during the launch of a two-year pilot programme aimed at improving the risk assessment and management of CVDs at tertiary, secondary and primary levels of care offered in public health facilities.

The GHI is a health interventional programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and GIZ, a German development agency. Its purpose was to tackling Non-Communicable disease.

Global deaths from CVDs is expected to increase by 17 percent in the next 10 years and the impact will be felt greater in the developing countries, most especially Africa, that is, according to the World Health Organisation.  Reported cases of the disease is expected to rise from 17.1 million in 2004 to 23.4 million in 2030.

Currently, statistics show that the number one cause of death among adults at the various health facilities across the country is CVDs whereas the risk factors of the disease also keep increasing. At the moment, the major risk factors of the disease are hypertension, stroke and kidney diseases.

Statistics from the MoH indicate that 17.5 percent to 28 percent of adult population are hypertensive as over 70 percent of them are unaware and the same number of people are not on treatment. However, only five to 13 percent of those on treatment are controlled.

The Director General, International Services of GIZ, Dr. Timo Menniken told the Goldstreet Business that the attention focused on communicable diseases has not been even with the NCD and it was important much attention is paid in the area.

“Ghana is a prime example of a country that is rapidly developing economically. Which also means there is fast-growing middle-class people who are mostly threatened by the CVDs. It is therefore important that we play our part as international development partner”.

By Dundas Whigham