Health Ministry Partners Danish Company

Health Minister, Agyeman-Manu and Jude Abonu signing documents while the Danish Deputy Head of Mission looks on

The Ministry of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with international healthcare company headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk, to fight diabetes through interventions that target children and aged living with the disease.

At a signing ceremony on Wednesday, the sector minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, launched the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDIC) and the Insulin for Seniors programmes which are interventions designed under the affordability component of the global ICARE initiative.

CDIC is a five-year intervention that intends to improve delivery of diabetes care to 1,500 children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes through collaboration with 17 health centres.

The Insulin for Seniors programme, meanwhile, is focused on partnering 21 hospitals to provide holistic diabetes care and safeguard insulin access for 4,000 Ghanaians above the age of 60 within a three-year period.

In his address, the minister indicated that government was keen on partnering the private sector to address major challenges such as diabetes, which the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has projected to affect 1.32 million Ghanaians by 2045.

“Children with type 1 diabetes are also an increasing challenge threatening the life expectancy of our young ones,” he said.

The health ministry, he said, intends to institutionalise interventions under the ICARE initiative into general framework for management and treatment of diabetes.

The Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy, Birgit la Cour Madsen, expressed worry over the low awareness level among Ghanaian parents, especially at a time when impressive economic growth has been accompanied by change in burden of disease.

“Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes have become much more common in Ghana than they were just 10 years ago,” she said.

She, therefore, called for the adoption of new approach and skills for the successful prevention and treatment of NCD.

The Head of Business Unit for English West Africa, Norvo Nordisk, Jude Abonu, said there was the need for retraining of health care professionals on advanced ways of providing diabetes care.

For that reason, they would be organising series of training programmes across the country under the interventions.

The ICARE initiative has an ambition of accelerating access to treatment for patients living with diabetes under four thematic areas of improving capacity of health professionals, affordability of health services, improving reach to healthcare and empowering of patients to fight disease.

By Issah Mohammed