Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the development of the country’s pharmaceutical industry, including the production of drugs, particularly anti-retrovirals, was a key commitment of his government, and forms a key component for the industrial growth of the country.

The President has been quoted as saying, “We are going to make a determined effort to try and reverse the structure of the economy and we have chosen the pharmaceutical industry as a key point of that programme.”

President Afuko-Addo went on to say that it was unacceptable that three out of four people living with HIV and AIDS in the ECOWAS region had no access to treatment. And that it was important that Ghana got UNAID’s endorsement to enable local pharmaceuticals in the region to manufacture anti-retroviral drugs to reverse that statistics.

The Ghanaian President has pledged the government’s commitment to support the work of the UNAIDS, adding that Ghana would leverage its leadership role in ECOWAS and the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board to play a frontline role and ensure issues about the disease was taken seriously.

Having being sworn in as President in January this year, Mr. Afukuo-Addo has inherited a healthcare sector that boasts a national health insurance scheme, and access to primary health care for 97.5% of the population. This led to billionaire businessman, Bill Gates, proclaiming the Ghanaian healthcare system as; “The most successful healthcare system on the Africa continent”.

Non-communicable diseases are an increasing burden on the health of Ghanaian citizens, a trend that is being seen across most of Africa.