The Vision for Alternative Development (VALD) has appealed to government to allocate more resources to the health sector.


Mr Issah Ali, Executive Director of VALD, who made the appeal, added that if adequate resources were allocated to the health sector, there would not be the need to channel resources meant for development and other projects into the health sector


Mr Ali was speaking at a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Strategic Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). He noted that   though government was the first point of call with regards to development, CSOs also had a role to play to support as government could not carry out this role alone.


In other words, he said, notwithstanding  the  call on government to allocate more funds to the health sector, the CSOs could also contribute their quota as all activities such as poverty alleviation and the provision of clean water were linked to goal three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with health care for all.


Speaking on the progress of SDGs in Ghana in the context of health, the National Co-ordinator for CSOs platform on SDGs, Ugonna Ukaigwe noted that though Ghana had successfully integrated the SDGs into the National Medium Term Development policy framework 2018-2021, there was still more that needed to be done regarding the role of the CSOs.


Ms Ukaigwe stressed the need to promote innovative partnerships with the media to create more awareness on the work that was being done and called on government to  put adequate measures in place to help strengthen the data collection system to help in reporting at all levels by all stakeholders.


She said though there was progress being made, it was important to focus more on quality and prioritise details of the figures provided as it contributed to development.


On his part, the Programmes Director for VALD and Co-ordinator for NCDs in Ghana, Mr Labram Musah, commended the UN for the inclusion of NCDs on the United Nations agenda, indicating that this could go a long way to help reduce the high risk of the disease and help government focus on development.


Mr Musah said gone were the days when the use of tobacco in the country was very high and worrying, adding that per the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), people no long smoked in public and adverts of tobacco on the traditional media and on billboards had stopped.


He, however, expressed worry over how people continued to smoke shisha at the beaches as it was very harmful and the continued adverts of alcohol on billboards and the traditional media, stressing that these were harmful to human health as it would destroy the lungs and the heart while, draining the finances of the country as monies meant for development could be channelled into providing resources to cure affected people.


He, therefore, called on government to provide more resources for NCDS and prohibit advertisement of alcohol on traditional media at certain hours while children were still awake or watching television.


Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo)