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Call To Invest in Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

30 August 2022The Global Week for Action on NCDs (5 – 11 September 2022) sees the South African Non-Communicable Diseases+ Alliance (SANCDA+), of which CANSA is a founding partner, join the call to prioritise the urgent need for increased NCD financing to prevent, and treat, NCDs and build strong healthcare systems that provide access to all.

#ActOnNCDs

The Global Week for Action on NCDs comes at a crucial time for the SANCDA+ as it recently welcomed the South African National Department of Health’s new national non-communicable diseases strategic plan, after eight years of activism and input.

Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, CEO of the SANCDA+ states, “Times are tough here now, in South Africa and this is good news for anyone living with a non-communicable disease (NCD+). This plan says what must be done for people living with NCDs+. The SANCDA+ and partners must mobilise and work with the provincial health teams to implement the plan. Implementation has not happened before.”

More than half of the people who die each year, in South Africa, die from NCDs+. Most are between the ages of 30-70 years old, which is known as ‘premature mortality’. Although official NCDs+ statistics are in short supply, the available statistics confirm this upward trend.

In 2006, HIV, TB and related conditions stopped being the leading cause of premature mortality death when antiretroviral (ARV) treatment changed lives and deaths. South Africa leads the world in this dramatic and positive result after years of intensive skilled interventions and funding. Today, far fewer people die of HIV due to good public sector care but, are more likely to die prematurely from poorly managed NCDs+.

Pinkney-Atkinson, who lives with multiple NCDs+ since birth and has no health insurance, adds, “The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way thanks to the recent publication of the 2022 NCDs+ strategic plan. The SANCDA+ shows that there are strong, dedicated advocates for the prevention and treatment of NCDs+. Our partners are individuals, families and organisations that are fighting for available quality NCDs+ prevention and control without causing financial hardship. Together we have spent hundreds of years serving these and we continue to fight for our constitutional rights.”

“Having this support means that we will be able to roll out the plan by co-producing with provincial health. The target is to stop people dying too early from NCDs+, especially diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and related complications and conditions. It requires we all work together, the people, patients and workers, pharma companies and others in organised partnerships.” Pinkney-Atkinson concludes.

Each year from 2020 to 2025, the Global Week for Action of NCDs will raise awareness about NCDs while focusing on a specific theme. In 2022, it is bridging the NCD Investment gap. Financing for NCDs has stagnated at a mere 1-2% of development assistance for health for two decades. Furthermore, NCD investment by national governments is severely lacking, and data on NCDs in many countries is sparse and insufficient.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to encourage governments, donors, international agencies, and the private sector to invest in health and save lives.

(For more information, please contact Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director SANCDA+ email: vicki@sancda.org.za or mobile +27-83-38-38-159 or Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email lbalona@cansa.org.za. Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230).

About the SANCDA

SANCDA+ is a health and social justice advocacy alliance that seeks equity for the rights of people living with NCDs+. Our work is to hold the government to account for policy coherence making sure that policy prioritises equitable prevention and treatment of NCDs+. Our current human rights complaint is active with the SA Human Rights Commission. SANCDA+ has 100 allies who support this agenda. CANSA is SANCDA+’s fiscal partner responsible for financial governance.

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

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