Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancers, diabetes and hypertension are popularly referred to as “silent killers” because those who have them may be unaware while the diseases damage the body, reduce the quality of life and ultimately cause premature death. NCDs are major public health concern and development challenge as they force people and families into poverty due to huge expenditures on treatment. They impact the quality of life and undercut productivity.
In Ghana, NCDs contribute significantly to illness and disability. The prevalence of adult hypertension appears to be increasing and ranges from 19% to 48%. The prevalence of adult diabetes in Accra and Kumasi is 6% to 9%. However, NCDs are largely preventable and can be effectively managed by taking actions to tackle the risk factors and providing access to quality healthcare.
SANOFI, a global healthcare company with a mission for empowering life of people worldwide, has risen to support in addressing some of the challenges of NCDs by launching its innovative Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic (DHC) program in Ghana as a public-private partnership. The goal of the DHC program is to bring healthcare closer to the people and help diabetes and hypertension patients in particular to receive effective healthcare.
The first DHC in the program was launched on 5th September at the Eastern Regional Hospital (ERH), Koforidua – a public health facility under the Ghana Health Service. While welcoming participants to the contract signing and ribbon cutting ceremonies, Dr. Kwame Anim-Boamah, Hospital Director, expressed concerns about the rising number of diabetes and hypertension cases in Ghana and commended the efforts of SANOFI for making ERH the first hospital to benefit from the program.
Also speaking at the occasion, Folake Odediran, the General Manager Rx and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, explained that the rising burden of diabetes and hypertension is worrisome and require the collaboration of all stakeholders. She stated that “…for us at SANOFI, we believe that life is a health journey. And as a health-journey partner, we support patients by providing them with healthcare solutions along their health journey. This underscores our decision to launch diabetes and hypertension clinic in Ghana as a corporate social responsibility project”.
The launch attracted a large turnout of people from the hospital, Koforidua community and the company. Participants were conducted round the DHC facilities to inspect some of the equipment and supplies donated by the company.
According to the terms of the partnership, SANOFI will collaborate with ERH for up to two years to promote general disease awareness, training of healthcare workers, disease screening and education of people living with diabetes and hypertension.
Dr. James Appiah-Kusi, Physician Specialist and Head of Diabetic and Hypertension Unit, expressed gratitude to SANOFI for choosing to collaborate with the hospital. He pledged the commitment of the hospital and management to ensure the project delivers on its objectives.