Dr. Fred Weedor Amegashie, Director of NCDI
The Director for Non-communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Fred Weedor Amegashie says the Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries (NCDI) program at the Ministry is underfunded.
He stresses that the program has become a major public health burden that needs to be funded in order to be effective.
Dr. Amegashie made the observation recently at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town during the launch of the NCDI Poverty Commission Report.He recalls that in 2017, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health established the NCDI Poverty Commission in collaboration with the Lancet Commission on Reframing Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries for the Poorest Billion.
In a PowerPoint presentation, he notes the objective for the establishment is to explore and quantify the burden of NCDIs (particularly in relation to poverty) and current service availability and to propose an expanded list of priority NCDIs and interventions that could have a favorable impact on the health and economy of Liberia.
Dr. Amegashie discloses that in fiscal year 2013/2014, total health expenditure for NCDIs was 72 percent per capita and , 74.7 percent of all expenditures were out of pocket from households compared to 60 percent for malaria, 30 percent for Tuberculosis (TB), 19 percent for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health combined.
He says the NCDI Commission analysis selected 20 priority conditions, based on overall health impact of each condition, severity of the condition in terms of premature mortality, and extent of disability caused by the condition, and the inequality of health outcomes for each condition.
Meanwhile, Dr. Amegashie recommends that government should increase the NCDI focus and ensure they become proven health interventions that can address issues in the sector.“We can prevent early deaths from NCDIs if more investment is provided to collect more data on NCDIs.” He says.
–Editing by Jonathan Browne