Covid-19 Pandemic: PLWNCDs are more at risk – Dr. Wiafe-Addai

The Chairperson, Ghana Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, has hinted that People Living With Non Communicable Diseases (PLWNCDs) are more vulnerable to be affected by the novel Coronavirus when expose to the pandemic.   

She said people with pre-existing NCDs also appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Dr. (Mrs.) Wiafe-Addai who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peace and Love Hospitals; and President, BCI America & Ghana, Chairperson, Ghana Cancer Board made the hint when addressing participants at a day’s virtual meeting put together by Ghana NCD Alliance.

Speaking on the topic “How to Staying Healthy in the Era of Covid-19 and Beyond”, the Chairperson of Ghana NCD Alliance admonished PLWNCDs to strictly adhere to all the Covid-19 and NCDs Protocols.

According to her, people of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of becoming severely ill with the virus appears to increase if one is 60 years and above.

She noted that recognizing that people living with NCDs appear to be worst hit by this pandemic and are more susceptible to becoming severely ill, is very important.

Dr. (Mrs.) Wiafe-Addai therefore appealed to caregivers to review the care plan for persons with NCDs to conform and suit the Covid-19 protocols.

The CEO of Peace and Love Hospitals; and President, BCI America & Ghana, Chairperson, Ghana Cancer Board said we are not in normal times, so caregivers should review the care plan for persons with NCDs to conform and suit the Covid-19 protocols. In some cases telephone consultation may help to reduce the risk of exposure to the infection as each person with NCD might have a unique challenge that should be addressed based on the circumstances of the person. She explained.

Dr. (Mrs.) Wiafe-Addai further explained that the Covid-19 infection acutely affects multiple organs of the body. Saying generally viral infections are self-limiting, that is the defense mechanisms of the body fight to overcome the infection in most persons like what happens in common cold caused by similar virus.

Therefore any additional stress from acute covid-19 infection has greater impact on the body functions of the affected individual, and for that matter the disease impact of covid-19 infection on persons with NCDs is more severe, with its attendant high mortality than persons without NCDs. However persons with NCD that is well managed and constantly adhere to all management protocols almost always have normal body physiological functions. She opined.

“To this end PLWNCDs should strictly comply with NCDs protocols between them and their health care giver, adhere to strict compliance with hospital appointment and drug intake, Healthy diet intake, and have mild to moderate form of exercise, good rest, as well as good sleep.” The Chairperson of Ghana NCD Alliance cautioned.

Meanwhile, the Advisor to Minister of Health on Human Resource and Chief Program Officer Medical and Dental, Ministry Of Health, Dr. Baffour Awuah, during his address announced that government has started construction of infectious disease centers at strategic locations of the country to help curb NCDs and its related health issues.

He said government’s Agenda 88 is been rollout to improve access to health care by the provision of 7 Regional and 88 District Hospitals in all parts of the country currently without Regional or District Hospitals

According to him the draft NCD policy, developed by MOH would very soon receive approval and implemented across the country. Wellness clinics, Screening and early detection as well as intensive health promotion and literacy program would all be rolled out.

“NCDs if not detected early and managed or treated well can affect other vital organs of the body such as the heart, Kidneys, Brain, Lungs, Liver, Blood and Eyes.

Effect of NCDs on any of the vital organs above leads to abnormal physiological functions of the body and a vicious cycle of deranged body functions set in, which is one organ damage lead to the other.” Dr. Awuah disclosed.

The virtual meeting which was moderated by the National Coordinator-GhNCDA, Mr. Labram Musah was on theme: “COVID-19 Versus Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) “Virus” Taking Advantage of an Already Bad Situation Covid-19”



Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH


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