‼Health Minister Launches 3 NCDs Documents
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Hon. Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie ha on Thursday 26th November, 2020 launched the Noncommunicable Diseases Strategic Plan, NCDs National Policy and the Sierra Leone Noncommunicable Diseases, Injuries and Poverty Commission (NCDI) Findings and Recommendations. The launch took place at the Hill Valley Hotel, West of Freetown.
Prof. Wurie while giving out his keynote address, said that the launch of the 3 NCDs document is a step in the right direction as for far too long the health system has been focusing on communicable diseases to salivate suffering, morbidity and deaths while paying less attention to issues around Noncommunicable diseases.
The Minister was optimistic that these three documents will help to attract some attention on the area of NCDs, especially on screening and providing the enabling environment in addressing NCDs issues.
“We are here today to launch 3 documents all in an effort to address issues around NCDs and Injuries but stated that the enabling environment for screening and management of NCDs is not readily available in most of our health facilities”. This the Minister noted can be addressed by all stakeholders/partners.
The Hon. Minister said that NCDs could be associated to physical body issues , genetic, environment, urbanization, excessive alcohol intake and poverty to name but a few
Prof. Wurie reiterated the need for robust health promotion and awareness raising on NCDs thereby promoting the risks/dangers of NCDs to the public.
He continued that NCDs are preventable and information and communication for changing behaviors are key in disease prevention. He also urge for attention to be given on Mental Health as the country had experienced civil unrest, Ebola, Mudslide and now COVID-19 and with that we all can now relate to the devastating mental issues in the country.
He further called for huge investment on NCDs which he noted may not come from Government alone, but NGOs, UN Agencies and public private partnership.
The Minister thanked partners like WHO, Partners in Health (PIH), World Bank for their support in on NCDs as there are very few partners who can venture that area.
While presenting the Findings and Recommendations of the NCDI Commission Report, the Director at the Directorate of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental, Dr. Santigie Sesay said the key objectives of the Sierra Leone NCDI Commission was to serve as a Multi-sector Staring Committee for the MoHS NCDS and Mental Health Directorate and to provide Strategic Planning and Policy guidance on NCDs issues and Injuries, adding that a sizable number of the country’s population is associated to either 1or 2 conditions of NCDs.
He thanked partners for their support and called for more support and collaboration, especially from the Public-Private Sector.
The World Health Organization Country Representative (WR), Dr. Shon committed their continued support on NCDs, especially in strengthening the health system to actualize Universal Health Coverage. He advocated for more investment where the health system cannot only provide services on communicable diseases but also Noncommunicable.