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"Our collective commitment will address NCDs holistically" - Health Minister

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has reminded healthcare professionals, policymakers, researchers, civil society organisations and community leaders that a collective commitment will help address Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) holistically.

He made these remarks while launching the Support to Evidence-Informed Priority Setting (StEPS) project in Accra on Thursday.

In a speech read on his behalf, he said "This is an initiative positioned to reshape our healthcare landscape and pave the way for a healthier future for our citizens"

He added that the escalating burdens of NCDs transcends statistics adding that it deeply affects the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu also noted that Ghana like many countries grapples with the rise of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory disorders.

"The STEPS project represents more than just a new initiative - it signifies readiness to address NCDs using evidence-based strategies and effective priority setting tools"

"Our goal is to navigate the complexities of NCDs, identify the most effective interventions, and allocate resources judiciously"

"This is initiative is a crucial step toward reducing the burden of NCDs on our healthcare system and on society as a whole"

"Prevention of injuries due ti road accidents, domestic violence as well as smoking cessation require a true cross sector approach. In the months ahead, the StEPS project will involve an in-depth analysis of epidemiological data, risk factors, and the socio-economic context of NCDs in Ghana"

The Minister cited lifestyle factors such as diets, physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol consumption play a pivotal role in NCD development and progression.

He further revealed that the StEPS project envisions partnerships with schools, workplaces, communities and media to promote health-concious choices and facilitate behaviour change.

The Health Minister disclosed that Ghana is embarking on a transformative journey in the realm of NCDs.

"The StEPS project, supported by our commitment to lifestyle modification, signifies our determination to build a healthier, more resilient nation. It underscores our belief in the power of informed choices, collaboration, and evidence-based strategies"

The Project Steering Committee and Technical Working Groups as well as StEPS Secretariat located in the Ministry of Health was also commissioned.

"Special recognition gorges to the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Ingrid Mollestad, the Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Settings (BCEPS), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Trond Mohn Foundation and Norad as well as stakeholders who are playing various roles in makes the StEPS Project a success"

Our speakers commended the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health on the initiative and assured of their support in dealing with NCDs in Ghana.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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