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  • NGOs complete online NCDs national survey today

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Civil Society Organisation Survey on NCDs we need your help!

Written by Vicki.

Do you work for an NGO or civil society organisation providing services to people living with NCDs?

If yes, then we need your help. Please complete the online survey that will allow PHANGO & the SA NCD Alliance get a picture of the national and provincial response to NCDs from a NGO or civil society perspective.

Your information will help us advocate for improved NCDs prevention, treatment and research.  We will share the information on this website in the nationa civil society NCDs status report (launch October). The content will also inform the health systems strengthening meeting in November.

You can take breaks from the survey if you need but do complete it

This survey is part of the "Strenghening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action" NCD Alliance programme aimed at supporting and strengthening nationla civil society NCD advocacy efforts in Brazil, South African the the Caribbean Community countries. The outcomes we are looking for are and increase demand and advocate for governments to strenghen health systems through and integrated approach to action on NCDs.

PHANGO is the National Implementing Partner for the NCD Alliance and Medtronic Philanthropy funded project.

PHANGO, as part of the SA NCD Alliance is indebted to our Caribbean colleagues at the Healthy Caribbean Coalition /University of the West Indies CaveHill Public Health for the permission to adapt their original survey.

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Health systems strengthening for NCDs

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

PHANGO, as part of the SA NCD Alliance is hosting a health systems strengthening (HSS) workshop in relation to NCDs. Dates: 17-18 November 2014 for more information contact Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson

Areas to be address are::

  • Integration of NCDs interventions and services into existing heath platforms/services. E.g.: HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and maternal and child health
  • Patient empowerment See the review on person centre care and self-management.
    How do we involved the patient in the development of health services?
    How can NCDs patients and NGOs be better involved to contribute towards a patient-centred health system?
  • Multisectoral collaboration
    Are there examples of successful public/private partnerships?
    How can the different sectors work together on HSS for NCDs?

We are particularly keen to find out how NCDs fits into the National Department of Health’s plans for the as yet unpublished but much vaunted Integrated Chronic Disease Management Model.

Maisha Hutton of the Health Caribbean Coalition, suggests these frameworks looking at HSS:

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Mental Health Policy Framework & Strategic Plan 2013-2020 Final version

Written by Vicki.

The final version of the Mental Health Framework and Strategic Plan 2013-2020 download here.

icon MENTAL HEALTH POLICY FINAL 28.1.14 (657.5 kB)

It would be so lovely if the Department of Health dated the documents that it publishes!

 

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NCDs Feedom Fighters Report 2014

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

Download the meeting report click here.

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Cardiovascuar risk and rhuematoid arthritis

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a 60% increase in risk of cardiovascular (CV) death compared with general population
Unchaged for decades. Targetting reduction of CV deaths in RA a major issue

Old study 2009 -- waiting for good news.

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Increase tax on tobacco

Written by Dr Yussuf Saloojee.

On World No-Tobacco Day (31 May), the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments to raise tobacco taxes so as to reduce tobacco use and save lives.
Higher taxes are especially effective in encouraging the young not to start, or to quit, using tobacco. When tobacco products are cheap youngsters can easily afford to buy them, but when they are expensive youth can find better ways to spend their money. For instance, research shows that as mobile phone usage has gone up amongst teenagers in the UK, smoking went down. Teens preferred using their money to ‘chat’ and SMS friends then wasting it on cigarettes.

The World Bank advises that increasing excise taxes on tobacco products is the most cost-effective tobacco control measure available to governments. Higher taxes both increase government revenues and reduce consumption.

Despite this, tobacco tax rates are comparatively low in South Africa. WHO recommends that taxes should equal 70% of the retail price of cigarettes and the World Bank that it should be between 66% to 80% of the retail price. The tobacco tax rate in this country is well below these recommendations –at 52% of the retail price. In the past 14 years the tax rate has increased insignificantly from 50% to 52% of the retail price.

There is room to significantly increase tobacco excise tax rates in South Africa and this will result in both higher tax revenues for the government and lower smoking rates.

Opposition to tobacco tax increases is mainly based on the fear that tax increases will fuel smuggling. The link between the illicit trade in tobacco and excise tax rates is at best weak. Countries with high tobacco tax rates often have lower levels of smuggling than countries with low tax levels.

In the past decade, smuggling has increased in South Africa despite the Treasury’s ultra conservative tobacco excise tax policy. Keeping the tax rate low did not prevent smuggling. By contrast, in the UK- where the tax level is between 77 to 88% of the retail price – smuggling has decreased because of strong enforcement policies and smoking amongst children has also declined. Clearly, artificially keeping taxes low is not the solution to the problem of tobacco smuggling. World No Tobacco Day is an appropriate occasion for the Health and Finance Ministries to review tobacco excise tax policy and bring it into line with WHO recommendations so as to better serve society.

World No Tobacco Day is also an appropriate occasion for smokers to make a fresh start and reduce their addiction to tobacco. For those seeking to reduce the costs of tobacco use to their health and wealth, free assistance in quitting is available from the Quitline on 011 720-3145.

SOME FACTS.

1. Between 1993 and 2009 in South Africa real (inflation adjusted) excise taxes increased by 378%, government tobacco excise revenue by 220%, tobacco industry revenue by 69% and the number of smokers fell by 33%

2. WHO estimates that the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Unless urgent action is taken, the epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030.

3. The Medical Research Council of SA estimates that cigarette smoking killed 45 000 South Africans in 2000

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Report: Global status report on alcohol and health 2014

Written by Health-e News 14 May.

Produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the report confirms high levels of alcohol abuse but also positive policy moves spearheaded by the government's Inter-Ministerial Committee.

According to the report, South Africa ranks among Africa’s top four countries in terms of litres of alcohol consumed annually. The average South Africa over the age of 15 years drinks at least ten litres of pure alcohol a year. About half of all alcohol consumed in the country is comprised of beer, while the rest is almost equally distributed between spirits, wine and other alcohol.

About 30 percent of male drinkers and 14 percent of female drinkers report at lease one episode of binge drinking in the last month.

Harmful drinking habits have cost the country nearly R 300 billion, according to the report released on 12 May.

However, the report also highlights positive moves by government to curb dangerous drinking including the 2010 establishment of a dedicated
Inter-Ministerial Committee and draft legislation to ban alcohol advertising.

Download the full report: WHO Global status report on alcohol and health 2014

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SA world health record for all bad reasons

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

South Africa has highest world levels for high BP, obesity & physical inactivity

Baby boomers beware +50 years

This is not something that we want to brag about ... it just shows that South African are on track for a major disaster in noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure, heart failure and sooooo many other illnesses.

Being rich or poor, living rural or urban won't make any difference - just being over 50 years and not taking care of simple things like: exercise, eating right (low trans fat and salt more vegies) and getting your BP checked at least once a year. No smoking of course.

The WHO SAGE study published in February 2014 in the International Journal of Epidemiology notes about the SA part of the study

  • 78% high BP (either a systolic BP 140mmHg and higher OR note the or diastolic BP ?90mmHg)
  • women had consistently higher rates of high BP (note of caution not related to the study women don't always show typical heart attack signs)
  • only 38% with high BP were AWARE that they had high BP (hypertension)
  • most of those who were aware of their high BP were on treatment
  • BUT only 24% had effective high BP treatment (that is their BP was not a risk and below 140/90mmHg)
    obviously SA is doing a lousy job in treating high BP
  • 45% were obese highest in the world and a risk factor
  • 59% had low physical activity another risk "lifestyle" factor

Study leader Prof Lloyd-Sherlock said: “In many countries public awareness about hypertension remains very low, and the condition is not prioritised by national governments or development agencies. Unless this changes quickly, avoidable deaths and disability resulting from hypertension are set to soar. Interventions should include awareness raising, prevention and treatment. Ideally, we should persuade people to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles, but in the short run we should at least ensure they have access to effective treatment.”

Time for action South Africa
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THE NEXT STEPS FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN NCD ALLIANCE AND ITS PARTNERS

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

  • Implement and improve the SA NCDs Strategic Plan 2013-17(NCDs Plan)
  • NCDs Multisectoral Working Group (nMWG)
  • SA NCD Alliance structure & functions
  • Research issues
  • Civil Society National NCDs Status Report (CSNNSR)
  • Systems strengthening meeting August 2014

Download and read the finalization of the first Stakeholder meeting held in February 2014. You will find all the information in easy bullet point form condensed to one PDF page.

icon THE NEXT STEPS FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN NCD ALLIANCE AND ITS PARTNERS (164.77 kB)

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NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP) and NCDs

Written by Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson.

A retake on the NDP with a summary biased towards NCDs with the following key quotes:

"Evidence suggests multiple system failure across a range of programmes, including maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other, with a devastating combined impact. At the heart of this failure is the inability to get primary health care and the district health system to function effectively." P. 301

One of the key issues here is collaboration across sectors p. 303 "the health sector should engage with partners and departments to ensure that the negative impact of other policies on health outcomes is understood and minimised." Mostly it is a list of government department and is not outward looking to what broader society can offer. One wonders who they mean by partners.

NDP (2011) Developed by the National Planning Commission under Trevor Manuel's leadership

It is a must read document, bit by bit, like the elephant it is. Particularly moving is the vision statement for South African for 2030. p. 40.

Chapter 10: Promoting health: p 295-324

Three main sections: demographics and health, health systems and social determinants of health.

Note the emphasis: The section on health is interesting and includes long bits on the re-engineering of primary health care and what the teams and structure will look like. It is also a vision statement. This makes if like a look and feel statement. It is not policy but just how the thinking goes.
The discussion about NCDs is limited to population (primary prevention) methods: stop smoking, be more active, eat better and probably less, limit alcohol intake.
However, most of the messaging still remains about HIV/AIDS  its prevention, treatment and complications. Clearly a great deal has to be done to capture the attention of the national planning commission.

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