Non-Infectious Disease in South Africa Growing Burden

-- Jane Parry

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- South Africa is struggling under the quadruple burden of communicable disease, non-communicable disease, perinatal and maternal ill-health, and disorders arising from injury in both urban and rural settings, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in a special edition of The Lancet focusing on health in South Africa.

Bongani M. Mayosi, of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and colleagues write that acute and chronic health care services are coming under increasing pressure from the burden of non-communicable diseases, especially among the urban poor.

Although the burden of non-communicable diseases, combined with that of HIV/AIDS, presents challenges on an extraordinary scale, South Africa is well able to meet them, the authors write. This requires an improvement of district-based primary health care services, the integration of chronic disease care and risk-factor management, and the development of a national surveillance system, they note.

"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," the authors write. "A nationwide chronic care initiative will need to build robust partnerships with community-based institutions if the potential for prevention and promotion is to be realized."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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