A former Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization, (WHO), Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, has stated that the world is experiencing another pandemic of non-infectious disease like hypertension, diabetes and cancers which is killing more people silently.
Speaking at the 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference he said these diseases do not receive much attention like the infectious disease because they kill slowly.
Dr Asamoa-Baah who is now Presidential Coordinator for Ghana’s COVID-19 Response said Ghanaians for instance are sitting on a time bomb and walking into a disaster slowly as more people have become overweight, a major risk factor in developing diabetes and hypertension.
According to him, the level of overweight in Ghana is growing exponentially, as most young people have adopted unhealthy eating habits, like eating a lot of junk foods such as Pizzas, noodles and more surgery drinks.
“They eat too much salt, they don’t like vegetables, fruits, they don’t engage in enough physical activities, they don’t drink enough water and don’t sleep enough, so in a way we are breeding a generation of Ghanaians who will have hypertension and diabetes with severe consequences for all of us,” he said.
He said Ghana needs to be prepared to detect unusual events in real time by investing seriously in laboratory works, saying ‘the time has come for us to take all aspects of laboratory works more seriously than we have done in the past’.
He said Ghana’s biggest challenge in tackling the pandemic was the inability to communicate to the public effectively.
However, COVID-19 he said presents Ghanaians an opportunity to learn, challenge the status quo, think outside the box and discover their purpose as a people.
Dr Asamoa-Baah stressed the need “for Ghana to take a second look at its concept of health, change its approach to health and invest more into health systems; human, animal and environmental health.
He said live is becoming more stressful for many people and depression is common among the youth, hence the need for all to focus on their mental health and wellbeing.