Trends in risk factors for non-communicable diseases in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Durban: Health Systems Trust
Title Trends in risk factors for non-communicable diseases in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL Publications/Trends_NCD_SA_HST_28Aug2015.pdf
In June 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) South Africa Country Office reported
that about two out of five deaths are related to non-communicable disease (NCD), which can
be attributed to high prevalence of major risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol,
unhealthy diet and high salt intake, obesity and physical inactivity.
In an effort to combat this
trend, the South African National Department of Health has developed a Strategic Plan for
the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) 2013-172
that has
prioritised the goal of reducing NCD morbidity, mortality and related risk factors by
implementing the following three major components:
1) prevention of NCDs and promotion of health and wellness at individual, community
and population levels
2) improved control of NCDs through health systems strengthening and reform
3) monitoring NCDs and their main risk factors and conducting innovative research.
The non-communicable diseases of importance in this strategic plan have been identified as
cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions and cancer. The plan has
also outlined four risk factors, namely physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and
harmful use of alcohol, that are modifiable for prevention and control of the identified noncommunicable

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