Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Health Director, said the increase in NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers required concerted efforts to prevent needless deaths and the private sector, as well as the media, were key partners in achieving that goal.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of an end-of-year review meeting on NCDs, he said the Directorate’s focus for 2023 was to leverage the existing collaborations with stakeholders to control NCDs in the region.
“We have designed a broader partnership with the private sector to see how to strengthen all activities as far as the control of cancers and other NCDs are concerned,” Dr Tinkorang said.
NCDs posed a major challenge to health authorities in the region but top on the list was hypertension and its associated complications, he said, adding that diabetes and cancers also remained a source of concern.
“The cancers, diabetes, and hypertension are going up and so, this year, we are going to plan very well so we can control most of them.”
Dr Tinkorang said the Directorate would also prioritise awareness creation, screening and education on those diseases to ensure the public adopted healthy lifestyles to curb them.
He said NCDs were basically lifestyle related and advised the public to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and stay away from habits that were inimical to health including smoking and excessive drinking.
The Directorate was considering a strategy to devolve the management of hypertension to the lower levels to reach more people who may not be aware they had the condition, he said.
He commended the media for supporting the Directorate to achieve its mandate and called for more collaboration to improve public health in the years ahead.
Madam Lydia Owusu Ansah, the Regional NCDs Coordinator, reiterated plans to step up screening to ensure early detection to save lives.
She said those diseases accounted for about 38 per cent of mortalities recorded in health facilities and called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to minimise their occurrences.