Evolutionary Study of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Policy as Healthcare Intervention in Ghana (2000-2019)
The incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, cancers and cardiovascular diseases in Ghana has created a new mix of healthcare challenge for the country. Owing to the fact that NCDs have caused significant illness and deaths for decades and robbed people off their social satisfaction in life, several healthcare interventions have been initiated to stem the tide of these diseases. One of such interventions is the Non-communicable Diseases Control and Prevention Policy, which was adopted in the year 2012. A strategy for management, prevention and control of chronic NCDs document that contained plan of actions to be pursued from 2012 to 2016 accompanied the policy document and geared towards the facilitation of NCDs programs in the policy. However, it appeared that within the stipulated period, the set of actions spelt out in the policy and strategic document remained a mirage. This paper revolves around two critical questions on how policy makers have mulled over this issue; Does the NCDs policy have the historical evidence of being productive? What factors have posed as constraints to the policy implementation? The authors employed a qualitative research approach predicated on both primary and secondary sources for the study. In that stead, an electronic search was conducted through the database and archives of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ghana Medical Journal (GMJ) among others to collect data for analysis and discussions. While the NCDs policy has the historical evidence of being productive given its strategic areas and plan of actions for implementation, legislative, leadership and governance, cultural and socio-economic factors were spot on as constraints to implementation. Policy makers and stakeholders alike are reminded to reflect soberly on these constraints in their quest to design and implement robust interventions for the management, prevention and control of NCDs in Ghana.