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Lancet. 2009 Sep 12;374(9693):934-47. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61087-4. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

The burden of non-communicable diseases in South Africa.

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1
Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. bongani.mayosi@uct.ac.za

Abstract

15 years after its first democratic election, South Africa is in the midst of a profound health transition that is characterised by a quadruple burden of communicable, non-communicable, perinatal and maternal, and injury-related disorders. Non-communicable diseases are emerging in both rural and urban areas, most prominently in poor people living in urban settings, and are resulting in increasing pressure on acute and chronic health-care services. Major factors include demographic change leading to a rise in the proportion of people older than 60 years, despite the negative effect of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy. The burden of these diseases will probably increase as the roll-out of antiretroviral therapy takes effect and reduces mortality from HIV/AIDS. The scale of the challenge posed by the combined and growing burden of HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases demands an extraordinary response that South Africa is well able to provide. Concerted action is needed to strengthen the district-based primary health-care system, to integrate the care of chronic diseases and management of risk factors, to develop a national surveillance system, and to apply interventions of proven cost-effectiveness in the primary and secondary prevention of such diseases within populations and health services. We urge the launching of a national initiative to establish sites of service excellence in urban and rural settings throughout South Africa to trial, assess, and implement integrated care interventions for chronic infectious and non-communicable diseases.

PMID:
19709736
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61087-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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