Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of mortality globally, causing more deaths than all other causes combined, and they strike hardest at the world’s low and middle-income populations.
While in South Africa the HIV and AIDS and TB epidemic still predominate in terms of both morbidity and mortality, with the rise in urbanisation, industrialisation and economic transition and health services that are not always adequately equipped to deal with the issues, many more people are becoming ill and dying from NCDs.
The NCD epidemic can be prevented through reduction of the underlying risk factors, early detection and timelytreatments.
In 2011 there was extensive global focus on NCDs culminating in the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting of Heads of State and Governments and the adoption of the Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
Perhaps most importantly the UN declared that NCDs were not only a Health but a Development concern requiring a whole of government and whole of society approach.
Leading up to this High level meeting a national summit was hosted by the South African Minister and Deputy-Minister of Health and was attended by government, non-governmental organisations (including user groups), professional organisations and academics.
The summit adopted a Declaration and set 10 targets to be reached by 2020. This Strategy is largely the arrangement to reach these targets.
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