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Epidemiological transition, tertiary health policy and the burden of noncommunicable diseases of children in Ghana: Lessons from a study in a Ghanaian Tertiary Hospital.

Delali M Badasu, University of Ghana

Evidence from research and other sources indicate that the pattern of disease and causes of ill-health and death in Ghana has been changing, with a rise in noncommunicable diseases (NDCs). NDCs account for over 25% of all deaths, according to some recent statistics. The epidemiological transition is not with respect to the adult population alone but children too. Despite these developments, there has been no explicit national policy on tertiary health care. This is incompatible with the country’s pursuit of programmes to reduce infant and child mortality, for example, in the context of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). This paper discusses some lessons from a study of children with noncommunicable diseases at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana's leading tertiary hospital. It recommends a comprehensive and integrated tertiary health policy for children, ranging from conditions in the tertiary health facilities to the illness experience of the children and their families.

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Presented in Session 64: Measuring the burden of disease