The Ghanaian health system has traditionally focused on communicable diseases, but the non-communicable disease (NCD) burden has been increasing in the country and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa has the world’s highest hypertension prevalence; myocardial infarctions and stroke have displaced tuberculosis and malaria as top five causes of deaths in the continent. Approximately 36% of Ghanaian adults suffer from hypertension and the proportion of patients being treated (approximately 4%) is alarmingly low.
The United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target achieving “universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and … affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.” Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are falling short of the goal because of limited resources and supply- and demand-side barriers that often prevent reaching the most vulnerable populations. Ghana’s national health insurance scheme’s (NHIS) ability to continue is threatened financially and operationally because of these barriers.
We will build together with researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in Ghana to do the foundational research and team to develop novel system models to operationalise and prioritize UHC for hypertension in Ghana, reducing morbidity, mortality, and the financial burden on households.
The project is a Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) pump-priming award funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).