Monday, October 3

President Barrow Launches National Multi-Sectoral Strategy and Costed Action Plan for NCD Prevention and Control

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By Kebba Ansu Manneh

Gambian leader Adama Barrow, on Wednesday, presided over the launching of the National Multi-Sectoral Strategy and Costed Action Plan for Non-Communicable Disease prevention and control in The Gambia.

The event that attracted stakeholders within health sectors is a five (5) years project that started this year 2022 to 2027, with the aim to reduce premature deaths from NCD in The Gambia by one-third in 2027.

The guiding principle and the strategic objective are aligned with WHO recommendations with the view to raise the priority for NCD prevention and control at national and regional levels through strengthened collaboration and advocacy.

Delivering his launching statement, President Adama Barrow expressed the timeliness of the project that seeks to prevent and control NCD deaths in the country, adding that the numbers of people living with NCDs are on the increase thus addressing the threat becomes necessary.

According to him, the data and evidence available on Non-Communicable Disease makes it exceedingly necessary to the launched of the new National Multi-Sectoral Strategy 2022-2019, for the prevention and control of NCD in The Gambia, revealing that more than 5,500 people prematurely died every year in the country due to NCD.

“It is a concern that almost all households in the country are directly or indirectly affected by the NCDs and more than 5,500 people die prematurely every year due to Non-Communicable Diseases. These are serious implications for the socio-economic development of the country,” President Barrow pointed out.

President Barrow also stated  that diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and stroke among other Non-Communicable Diseases are the major causes of death in the world, adding that NCD accounts for 75 percent of all deaths globally

He noted that risk factors for NCDs include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, air pollution, and harmful use of alcohol and tobacco use.

President Barrow acknowledges that the fight to eliminate NCDs is not government business alone and he calls on all stakeholders to join the battle to eliminate NCDs.

He further urged stakeholders to use various approaches including the local communities to eliminate the threat away from the Gambia.

Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health expressed his strong conviction that the 2022-2027, National Multi-Sectoral Strategy and Costed Action Plan will go a long way to preserving the lives of the people.

He added that it relieves the sufferings of people living with Non-Communicable Disease.

According to him, The Gambia has prioritised the issues of NCDs and has since scaled up to actions in mitigating the threat, adding that the country is also progressing towards achieving the sustainable development goals 3, 4 and committing to the global call for action in building back better.

“I am delighted that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners prepared this national multi-sectoral strategic plan to cover 2022 through to 2027. The comprehensiveness of the strategy and cost plan will enable us to minimise lost lives,” Dr. Samateh observed.

He added: “I would like to acknowledge the valuable support from The Defeat-NCD Partnership and the World Bank leading to the timely achievement of this strategy and its cost action plan. I urge the Ministry of Finance and relevant development partners to take note of this cost action plan and help The Gambia to achieve our global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr. Samateh further disclosed that the development of the strategy and cost action plan was a participatory and collaborative process with contributions from various sectors, noting that the process includes relevant government institutions, national and international development partners, national societies, academia, and the private sector.

Other speakers at the launch include Mukul Bhola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), The Defeat-NCD Partnership, WHO Country Representative, and a pre-recorded message delivered by a representative of the World Diabetes Foundation.

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