What are the policies of preventing CVD around the world?
In Ghana, many policy initiatives like Regenerative Health and Nutrition Programme and Programme of Work (POW) has been implemented in Ghana in the past to control the risk of CVD. Recent primary prevention program for cardiovascular disease in Ghana has been directed by the implementation of National Policy for prevention and control of non-communicable disease in 2012. The main priority set by the Non-communicable disease policy was early detecting and health promotion. Much relevant legislation related to food, tobacco, and alcohol policies were also enacted to minimize the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Special emphasis was also paid on immunization and physic activity. It was also planned to educate people about limiting intakes of salts, fat, cholesterol and added sugar. Although this policy was responsible for many health promotion initiatives in Ghana, however, limited success was achieved. This is because of many challenges or limitations like the inefficient management of the programme, low funding, and little political interest to strengthen the health system.
In the area of secondary and tertiary prevention of early detection and educating people about early signs of the disease was a priority in the non-communicable disease policy. Health system strengthening was planned using in-service training programs. Improving access to essential drugs and supplies were also presented. However, limited success has been achieved because of low funds and the high cost of drugs. Weak governance can also be regarded as one factor that affected the speedy implementation of proposed prevention programs for the citizens. Clinical management of cardiovascular disease was also challenging because of low compliance rate, the high cost of treatment and lack of specialist care. Since cardiovascular disease is a growing burden in Ghana, there is a need for screening and treatment of high-risk persons. As the cardiovascular disease epidemic is in its early stage, the life-course approach in preventive strategies is needed so that risk factors can be eliminated from childhood.