Preventing NCDs Among Young Ghanaians: HFFG and IMCC-Ashipti in a Joint Fight

Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health continue to account for the largest proportion of global deaths every year, according to the World Health Organisation.  In Ghana, this data translates to 43% of all deaths every year. The global increase in NCDs has been attributed to high-risk lifestyles among populations such as modernisation, changes in nutrition, physical inactivity, obesity and substance abuse. Research has shown that indulgence in these risk factors at the early stages of life may lead to the development of NCDs in adulthood.  As the WHO estimates that about 70% of premature deaths occurring during adulthood are the result of health-related behaviours initiated in childhood and adolescence, it is important that health interventions targeting NCD prevention and control prioritize the sensitization of young people to reduce the incidence of NCDs in adulthood.

In 2020, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) and the International Medical Corporation (IMCC-Ashipti) in Denmark began a partnership to develop a project that aims to promote the prevention of non-communicable diseases among young Ghanaian students.  Based on this, members from the two organisations participated in an international partner seminar organised in May 2022, by the funders of the project – the Danish Youth Council (DUF).

The purpose of the seminar was for DUF members and partner organisations to gather in Denmark and develop their partnerships and projects. The seminar consists of workshops that focus on building the capacities of members and strengthening existing partnerships by providing different working tools and methods relevant for project development and implementation.

The participation of HFGG and IMCC-Ashipti in the seminar was to prepare both partners for a pilot project on NCDs in Ghana later this year. The pilot project will primarily focus on bridging the knowledge gap among school children in Ghana on NCDs while promoting physical activity and healthy diet among the students.