Persons living with NCDs call for special care in the wake of COVID-19 and CSM

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The Ghana Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (GhNCDA), a network of persons living with non-communicable diseases in the Northern Region, has called on government and the Ministry of Health to as a matter of urgency channel more resources to the northern parts of the country as they battle with the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) to save more lives.

“We stand to encounter serious health implications should they contract the COVID-19 and the CSM. CSM attacks both the brain and spinal cord that leads to serious-long term and the total number of persons infected with CSM in the Upper West Region for instance has increased from 214 to 247 with the death toll standing at 37.

In addition, older people and people with pre-existing conditions such as heart diseases, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disorders among other NCDs are more prone to becoming severely ill with the virus they added,” a statement from the network said.

The statement, signed by Labram Musah, National Coordinator of the alliance, was supported by the regional executives including Neindow Sayibu, Sayibu Zakia and Hajia Alima Sagito Saeed.

According to them, persons with mental health and Alzheimer (a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions) conditions also suffers significantly due to the fear and anxiety of the pandemic.

The cost of treatment, care, and access to quality healthcare by PLWNCDs is one area government through the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service should have a keen interest and have it reformed especially in the era of COVID-19 and beyond they lamented.

“We are appealing to government to direct healthcare givers to give special treatment including communicating with patients to understand their conditions vis-a-vis COVID -19 and also through the NHIS to absorbs if not all but part of the treatment and care cost for PLWNCDs to enable them access quality healthcare in this era of Covid-19 and to enable them access with ease.

While we plead with government to pay critical attention to PLWNCDs in the era of COVID-19 and CSM, we also entreat people living with NCDs and those with predisposed health conditions mentioned above to follow all the precautionary measures with much discipline and eat a well-balanced diet to boost their immune system to keep them fit.”

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