COVID-19 does not discriminate and will exacerbate inequalities within societies, with vulnerable groups like Persons living with NCDs likely to suffer the most.
NCDAK, People living with NCDs and their families are asking of government to:
1. Ensure urgent arrangements are put in place to provide NCDs patients with 2-3 months’ supply of medication.
2. Provide mechanisms for health providers to conduct remote consultations for stable patients to minimize hospital visits that may increase their risk of contracting COVID-19.
3. Adequate stocks of medicines and supplies required to manage NCDs are available in public health facilities especially during this COVID 19 crisis.
4. Tax exemptions or subsidies on all NCD-related medicines and supplies.
5. Increase the capacity of pharmacies in community-level health facilities to dispense prescriptions of persons living with NCDs under supervision of a higher-level health facility.
6. Ensure patients testing positive for COVID-19 are triaged appropriately to identify any co-morbidities that increase their risk of severe disease and death.
7. Promote peoples’ awareness of the importance and need to strengthen their immune system, as the first line of defence, by increasing access to safe and healthy nutritious diets to ensure robust immune systems. Available evidence demonstrates that this is the first line of defence against all infections, including COVID-19.