Active Research

Assessment and Evaluation of the World Health Organization Package of Essential Non-Communicable Disease Intervention in Ghana

Ashesi University

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a significant global health challenge, responsible for 41 million deaths annually, accounting for 71% of all deaths worldwide. Lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity are major drivers of these diseases. In Ghana, NCDs are a growing concern, with 43% of all deaths attributed to NCDs. Prevalence rates are highest for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which affect 19% of the population, followed by cancer (5%), diabetes (3%), chronic respiratory diseases (2%), and other NCDs, including mental health disorders (13%), among individuals aged 15-49 years. The management of NCDs in Ghana faces significant challenges, including weak data collection systems, inadequate screening facilities, staff shortages, lack of staff training, referral system deficiencies, infrastructural challenges, and medication shortages along the supply chain. Financial burdens on patients are also a major concern. To address these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Package of Essential NCD Interventions (WHO PEN) framework, offering cost-effective interventions for NCD prevention, detection, and management. Despite the potential of the WHO-PEN framework to improve NCD management in Ghana, the prevalence of CVDs remains high. This study aims to evaluate the implementation of the WHO-PEN framework, focusing on CVD protocols, in hard-to-reach communities in Ghana. The study will utilize a mixed-methods approach, including surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions with healthcare workers and providers. The findings will provide insights into improving service delivery models for NCD management in remote and underserved areas, contributing to a more effective approach to addressing the NCD burden in Ghana.