President of Ghana National Diabetes Association, Elizabeth Esi Denyo says the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic caused fear amongst people living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Speaking at a webinar organised by Ecobank Ghana on the theme, “Experiences of people with NCDs during the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and recommendation for a multi-sectoral reform,” Mrs Denyo explained that people who died of Covid-19 largely had some underlying ailments.
This, she said, increased anxiety amongst people with chronic diseases since they stood a greater risk of succumbing to the virus as opposed to people who have no history of NCDs.
“Mortality heightens with Covid-19 when it comes to people living with NCDs. So what a person living with NCD experienced during the emergence of Covid-19 was fear and apprehension. Because when you switch on your television all you hear is all those who have died had underlying conditions,” she said.
Mrs Denyo who is also the Chairperson of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) of West Africa, further expressed worry over the growing rate of NCDs across the continent.
According to her, if no transformation is witnessed 8 to 9 million people on the African continent will be living with at least one Non-Communicable Disease.
For her, stakeholders have not invested enough in the preventive measures and in addition, Africa’s health care system is more geared towards the curative side.
She, therefore, suggested an establishment of a plan that will deal heads on with these gaps identified to efficiently manage people with chronic conditions on the continent.
On his part, the Professional Officer for the Non Epidemic Diseases and neglected tropical diseases at the West African Health Organisation, Dr William Bossu suggested that Africa embrace technology in its health sector.
He was of the view that, the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the challenges Africa’s health system faces, hence, leaders and necessary stakeholders must utilise the opportunity and solve these issues.
The Public Health Physician insisted that e-health technology will enormously contribute to the development of the continent’s health system and readily connect persons with NCDs to their medical practitioners at all times.
He then commended Ecobank Ghana for championing the course to sensitize people on Non-Communicable Diseases as numbers keeps soaring.