On December 4, 2018, Novo Nordisk, in line with the SDGs and together with the Suntreso Government Hospital, launched a one-stop Diabetes Support Centre to provide comprehensive diabetes care under one roof. This was done to improve access to diabetes care and general awareness about the disease.
Treatment of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) present a public health challenge that could undermine socio-economic development of sub-Saharan Africa. As Ghana continues to make economic progress, the disease burden is shifting from communicable disease to non-communicable diseases like diabetes. According to the World Diabetes Federation, there were over 500,000 adults with diabetes in 2017 representing 3.6% of the adult population worldwide – out if this over 50% are undiagnosed.
Denmark has supported and collaborated with Ghanaian stakeholders in the Health Sector in Ghana for 23 years. This cooperation covered all regions of Ghana and included a wide range of areas such as support to construction of health clinics in rural areas, establishment of the National Health Insurance System, support to bring down maternal and child mortality, and training of Health Care Professionals in the Master of International Health degree, to mention a few. Now, the private sector participation has become key in providing quality service in health sector and in the transition from aid to trade.
Ambassador Tove Degnbol, in her speech at the launching, underlined that addressing the problem of non-communicable diseases requires new interventions and new skills. “And dealing with them in addition to the already heavy burden on the health system also requires new ways of doing ‘business’”.
Novo Nordisk established the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) project in 2011 to identify solutions that could lead to an integrated approach to diagnosis, treatment and diabetes control for the working poor living at the base of the pyramid. The purpose of the BoP project is to develop scalable, sustainable and profitable solutions that increase access to diabetes care in low- and middle-income countries. The ultimate aim is that more people with diabetes live better lives.
The General Manager of Novo Nordisk Middle Africa, Vinay Ransiwal noted that the project takes a comprehensive approach and works to ensure the following benefits to patients: increased awareness of diabetes; early diagnosis of diabetes; access to quality care by trained health care professionals and stable and affordable supply of insulin; and improved self-management through patient education. He emphasised the need for concerted efforts to prevent and control diabetes as a priority as well as strengthen healthcare capabilities and monitor trends of the disease.
The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang emphasised the need for early diagnoses and dispelled long held misconception about diabetes being a death sentence. With quality care, people living with diabetes could have relatively high life expectancy.
The BoP project is currently running in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal under different business models to ensure that the project is adapted to address local barriers to care and meet the needs of people with diabetes living at the base of the economic pyramid in the different countries.
In Ghana, the Diabetes Support Centre in Suntreso Government Hospital is the 8th of such centres in Ghana and the 2nd in the Ashanti Region, the first being located in Manhyia District Hospital. Other such centres in five other regions in Ghana supported by Novo Nordisk, are: Maamobi General Hospital and Ga South Municipal Hospital in the Greater Accra Region, Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in the Western Region, Holy Family Hospital, Nkawkaw, in the Eastern Region, Our Lady of Grace Hospital in the Central Region; and Holy Family Hospital, Berekum, Brong Ahafo.
The event was well attended by Health Care Professionals (HCPs) and Management of the Ashanti Regional Health Service notably the Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang, MP of Bantama, Hon. Daniel Okyrem Aboagye, Nana Baafuor Dr. Ossei Hyeamann Brantuo VI, Otumfuo's Mawerehene, and the General Manager of Novo Nordisk, Middle Africa, Vinay Ransiwal among other dignitaries.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of Denmark in Ghana.
The launching of the Diabetes Support Centre on the 4th of December