The prevalence of major chronic non-communicable diseases and their risk factors has increased over time and contributes significantly to the Ghana's disease burden. Conditions like hypertension, stroke and diabetes affect young and old, urban and rural, and wealthy and poor communities. The high cost of care drives the poor further into poverty. Lay awareness and knowledge are limited, health systems (biomedical, ethnomedical and complementary) are weak, and there are no chronic disease policies. These factors contribute to increasing risk, morbidity and mortality. As a result chronic diseases constitute a public health and a developmental problem that should be of urgent concern not only for the Ministry of Health, but also for the Government of Ghana. New directions in research, practice and policy are urgently needed. They should be supported by active partnerships between researchers, policymakers, industry, patient groups, civil society, government and development partners.
Keywords: Ghana; chronic non-communicable diseases; health systems; policy; research.