Cases of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have seen a major decline in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District following various interventions implemented by the health directorate in partnership with GHANED for Health Foundation.
NCDs also known as chronic diseases are diseases which are non-infectious or non-transmissible among people but are of long duration and slow progression such as hypertension and diabetes.
Mrs. Gifty Ankrah, the Abura Dunkwa District Director of Health, who made this known mentioned the interventions as semi-weekly clinic sessions for patients at the Abura Dunkwa District Hospital during which they are educated on causes and management of their condition and dieting.
She said community health nurses subsequently followed up on the patients at their various homes and referred those defaulting treatment to the hospital.
Speaking at the commissioning of a Non-Communicable Disease Clinic at the Abura Dunkwa District Hospital, Mrs. Ankrah revealed that four years prior to the aforementioned interventions, NCD cases especially of hypertension and diabetes soared at an alarming rate.
However, she indicated, that last year cases of hypertension which increased from 1,772 in 2010 to 3,826 in 2013 decreased to 1,028 while cases of diabetes which went up from 154 in 2010 to 371 in 2013 also dropped to 188.
The Non-Communicable Disease Clinic was built with Ghc61 million out of Ghc65million funding from the Netherlands partners to improve management of the diseases in District, with some contribution from the Hospitals Internally Generated Funds.
Hitherto, NCD patients mixed up with other patients at the hospitals Out Patient Department, where they waited in long queues for hours until they were attended to.
The foundation would also support the health directorate to train all health officers in the 21 Community Health Programme and Services (CHPS) Zones in the district in the management of NCDs and intensify home visits and patient follow ups.
Mrs. Ankrah was confident that with the new facility and the capacity building of relevant health staff, NCD cases in the District would drop to its barest minimum.
Dr. Michael Antwi Danso, Medical Director of the Hospital, said the partnership with the foundation had positively impacted on NCD management and expressed gratitude to the foundation for the construction of the facility and pledged to ensure its maintenance.
Mariska Van Heerde, Head of the GHANED for Health Foundation, said the mutual interest for a NCD partnership arose when Dutch physicians on a study tour of Ghana in 2009, made contact with the Central Regional Hospital and later the Abura Dunkwa District Hospital.
She said the team, upon a visit to the Hospitals observed that there were increasing complications of untreated or undertreated diabetes and hypertension cases and decided to help since they were well-acquainted with management of the conditions.
She indicated that their efforts were aided by Cordaid, a large international aid agency, which supported them by sharing knowledge, networks and also with limited financial support.
She said project had helped them to interchange experience and knowledge and pledged their commitment to the partnership by sourcing more funds to sustain the running of the facility and undertake other NCD related projects.
The District Chief Executive, Mr. William Atta Mends, described the gesture as a memorable one, thanked the Foundation and urged citizens to patronize it. He called on stakeholders to maintain the facility.
Nana Obrempond Yimbo Brom IV, Gyaasehene of the Asebu Traditional Area, who presided, unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbon for the official opening of the facility.
Citation of honour was presented to the Foundation, while strips of Kente cloth were presented to members of the Foundation as a token of the Hospitals appreciation.