Co-principal investigator for CREATE and consultant family physician at Korlebu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Roberta Lamptey has advised Ghanaians to pay attention to non-infectious diseases as they are becoming more common in Africa.
Speaking at the CREATE Ghana meeting held at Accra City Hotel where CREATE collaborators, the ministry of health, representatives from hospitals and various health related fields met to deliberate on integrated care for people living with multiple long-term conditions, she said that the most common non-infectious diseases are cardiometabolic diseases.
“In Africa, when asked to mention fatal diseases, names such as Ebola and Covid quickly comes up. Across media platforms, there are always precautionary messages on these. This is because African healthcare systems were developed to focus on infectious diseases; and in Ghana, it is no different. While this may not be bad, it however means that African healthcare is better set up to cope with infectious diseases than non-infectious diseases. But lately non-infectious diseases are becoming more common in Africa; with the most common being cardiometabolic diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure”.
“According to World Health Organization (W.H.O), 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes, each year while about 17.9 million deaths each year are caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), making it the leading cause of death globally. And at its current rising rate, it may not be too farfetched to say that every home in Ghana has 1 or more persons with any or more of the above-mentioned conditions. Increasingly, people below 40 years have to learn how to live with multiple chronic long-term conditions such as strokes, obesity, hypertension and diabetes”, she added.
Dr. Roberta Lamptey mentioned that her team is elated to have the NIHR Global health group on collaborative care for cardiometabolic disease in Africa (CREATE) to help change the trends in Africa and Ghana.
“To change the trends in Africa and Ghana, CREATE has brought together researchers and doctors from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, to determine what healthcare needs are most important to patients and health workers in these countries. CREATE Ghana meetings will focus on activities for the development and testing of a care model which can be used to provide better health care to patients with cardiometabolic diseases; in particular, those living with multiple long-term chronic conditions”.
“Recruitment of patients living with chronic long-term cardiac diseases and data collection processes for a feasibility trial to test a self-management education model, developed by the CREATE Collaborators is planned for this quarter after the necessary ethical approvals have been obtained. This may ultimately strengthen Ghana’s health system in providing integrated care for chronic conditions”, she concluded.
CREATE is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care (NIHR, UK).