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SA NCD Alliance to Fight Killer Diseases

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13 January 2014 – The recently established South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (SA NCD Alliance) was selected by the international NCD Alliance to focus on raising awareness and action to lower premature deaths, preventable illness and disability related to non-communicable diseases in South Africa.   Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease – kill approximately 36 million per year, with 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. These conditions share common risk factors including tobacco and harmful alcohol use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and obesity. If current trends continue, this figure is projected to rise to 52 million deaths by 2030.

Through the support of the global NCD Alliance programme, funded by the Medtronic Foundation, the main role players fighting NCDs in South Africa formed a coalition – the SA NCD Alliance. Combined, these organisations bring together over 160 years of civil society advocacy in South Africa. Although not registered as a formal entity, the Alliance is recognised rather as a collaboration of NCD groups working towards common goals in the NCD field.

Founding members of the SA NCD Alliance are the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Diabetes SA and the Heart and Stroke Foundation with Patient Health Alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (PHANGO) and its 27 primarily patient-based organisations. PHANGO will act as the steering member and project management body for the Alliance.

Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Executive Director of PHANGO stated, “The Alliance is initiating a consultation process with global NCD Alliance members, the National Department of Health and other South African stakeholders in determining all possible ways to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases in our country. This process will be ongoing throughout 2014.”

As a leading cause of death worldwide, NCDs have been prioritised as a major health and developmental risk globally, South Africa included. United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Assembly and the global NCD Alliance have committed to fight the NCD epidemic. Progress in this regard is evidenced through the UN Political Declaration on NCDs and the WHO’s efforts to set global NCD targets and formulate the Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020.   The first event of the year is a workshop, planned for February 2014, with participation by relevant South African stakeholders to consider a national plan of action on NCDs. All other NCD focussed organisations in South Africa are welcome to join.

As part of the NCD Alliance’s programme Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action, generously funded by Medtronic Philanthropy, the NCD Alliance is pleased to launch “Non-Communicable Diseases: Join the Fight” – an Online Advocacy Toolkit, aimed at supporting civil society’s national and regional NCD advocacy efforts. Read more…

Follow us on Twitter @ncd_sa – for more information, please contact Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, on, call 011 706 4196 or 083 383 8159.)

About NCD Alliance Founding Members


CANSA offers a unique, integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R6 million spent annually), 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 wide-reaching health programme comprises prevention and education campaigns; over 30 CANSA Care Centres that offer stoma support and organisational management; medical equipment hire; a toll-free line and support to those affected by cancer; patient care and support in the form of 12 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients plus one hospitium based in Polokwane, as well as CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

Follow CANSA on Twitter: @CANSA and join CANSA on Facebook.

Diabetes SA

Diabetes South Africa’s mission is to promote diabetes education, care and support for all people in South Africa. This means a focus on diabetes education, awareness, screening, counselling and literature. Diabetes SA was founded in 1973 and has 8 branches nationwide. Diabetes SA is affiliated to the International Diabetes Federation.

Visit or call toll free 086 111 39 13 or email on – follow Diabetes SA on Twitter and join Diabetes SA on Facebook.

Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF)

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSF) leads the fight against preventable heart disease and stroke in South Africans, to reduce early deaths and disabilities. Established in 1980, the HSF is a non-profit organization with a national footprint and is a member of the South African Heart Association, World Heart Federation, African Heart Network and World Stroke Organisation. The HSF’s work ranges from influencing public health policy through to support at an individual level.

Services provided are generally free and include a health counselling line, school tuck shop programme, community health screenings and talks, support groups, providing information and resources and leading awareness campaigns such as National Heart Awareness Month, World Heart Day and World Stroke Day. The Heart Mark programme, the HSF’s food endorsement programme, continues to be a trusted and well-recognised brand that has been guiding South African consumers in healthy eating for over 20 years.

The HSF supports and works with all sectors to advocate for public health and is a member of working groups on the National Food Guidelines, the South African Food-Based Dietary Guideline, the National Department of Health’s Salt-Reduction Initiative, the Western Cape Provincial Government’s Healthy Lifestyles programme, and contributor to the National Tuck Shop Policy Guideline. For further info visit, email to, or call 0860 1 HEART

Patient Health Alliance of Non-governmental Organisations (PHANGO)

PHANGO unites 30 civil society patient- and health-related civil society organisations to achieve the goal of quality health for all. The Alliance provides a forum for these vital organisations to share knowledge and action on common health matters. In particular PHANGO is dedicated to ensuring that its member organisations and the patient perspective is considered in policy and health service delivery. PHANGO project manages the SA NCD Alliance project on non-communicable diseases. PHANGO is a not for profit organisation.

Visit: or follow us on Twitter: @ncd_sa or email:

NCDs Call to Action – National Stakeholder Meeting 11th to 12th Feb 2014

  • The newly formed SA NCD Alliance is holding a 1 1/2 day national key stakeholder meeting.
  • The objective of the meeting is to galvanize awareness and unify support for NCDs prevention and management.
  • A combination of plenary sessions and stakeholder group sessions will be used to maximise the skill, knowledge and experience of the participants.
  • There will be loads of networking opportunities including a laid-back braai on evening of 11th (with vegetarian options!)

The key stakeholder groups are:

  • NGOs and civil society
  • Policy and government (not only health but agriculture, education etc)
  • Health care industry and relevant related industries (pharma, devices, food etc)
  • Health care providers including medical schemes
  • Research and universities

Please send your suggestions for key stakeholders in these groups.

Topics include:

  • NCDs action plan global and SA including burden of disease
  • Accountability for progress on NCDs using the NCD civil society benchmarking tool
  • Stakeholders influencing and monitoring
  • Keeping NCDs on the agenda – moving forward

Participation is by invitation only and PHANGO are especially allocated one delegate place and a bursary to attend if certain conditions are met.

Kindly complete the registration form and return it to as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Watch out for updates on

Queries re National Stakeholder Meeting:

Dr Victoria Pinkney-Atkinson (Managing Member SA NCD Alliance)
Skype: vicki.pinkney-atkinson
Tel: 011-7064196
Mobile: 083 383 8159

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