Ghana has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Denmark, following which the latter will support diabetes care and care for other non-communicable diseases in Ghana.
Statistics available to the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicate that five million people die from diabetes-related diseases in Ghana annually.
As part of the agreement, a Danish global healthcare company, Novo Nordisk, with 90 years of experience in diabetes care, will provide more specialised diabetes support centres in Ghana.
Six of such clinics have so far been provided in five regions, including the Greater Accra and the Ashanti regions, equipped with very sophisticated machines that better monitor the health of patients.
The partnership also seeks to build the capacity of local doctors to make them specialised diabetes care doctors to improve diabetes care in the national healthcare delivery system.
The collaboration is being implemented by Novo Nordisk under a project known as the “Base of the pyramid” which seeks to facilitate access to diabetes care for all, particularly the working poor in low and middle-income countries.
The MoU was signed on behalf of Ghana by the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, while Ms Emma Jakobsson, the Market Access and Public Affairs Director for Novo Nordisk Pharma, signed for the company, with Ms Tove Degnbol, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, signing for Denmark.
Addressing the media after the signing ceremony in Accra yesterday, Mr Segbefia said the collaboration would facilitate increased awareness of diabetes and drastically help to reduce diabetes-related deaths.
“Seven out of every 10 people living with diabetes are not aware that they are diabetic, while most diabetics have very little or no knowledge about the disease. This unawareness affects diabetes care in general, resulting in the high fatality rate,” he said.
He said diabetes cases were fast growing in the country and so the ministry had put in place pragmatic measures to deal with the situation.
Such interventions, he said, included collaborating with the private sector to build the capacity of all stakeholders in relation to their respective roles to diabetes care and in the provision of the essential infrastructure for diabetes care delivery.
That, he explained, had culminated in the agreement between Ghana and Denmark.
Mr Segbefia said collaboration with the private sector had become crucial because the government alone could not provide the kind of quality healthcare delivery system required as a country.