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08.10.2008 Health

Expert calls for more action on lifestyle diseases


Dr. Alex Dodoo, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, on Wednesday said chronic diseases in Ghana constituted a development challenge, requiring the same intellectual and financial commitments afforded to communicable and infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV and AIDS.

“There is a dominant assumption among experts and lay communities that chronic conditions are rare or that they do not pose significant public health challenges compared to communicable diseases,” he noted at a roundtable on lifestyles diseases in Accra.

Dr Dodoo called for a national framework for chronic diseases with clear objectives and action plans, which could result in tackling the problem.

The workshop was organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and the Health Communications Institute and sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company.

Dr Dodoo said some diabetes prevalence studies in Ghana had recorded a steady increase while childhood obesity had also increased.

He said experts were recommending epidemiological surveillance and prevention through health promotion among others, to cut down on the increasing incidence of diabetes, cancer, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases.

Ms. Eunice Menka, President of the Health Communications Institute, said what one ate or drank determined how one's body reacted to ailments.

She said conditions such as diabetes were directly related to each individual's choice in nutrition, exercise and smoking of tobacco.

“As a country we must begin to reverse this trend to protect our human resource, a key element in our quest for a better life for Ghanaians.”