Non-Communicable Diseases Taking Toll

Cape Times (South Africa), July 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

Non-Communicable Diseases Taking Toll


BYLINE: Wilma Stassen Health-e News Service.

HEART disease, cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases are steadily killing more and more South Africans, says a report released yesterday.

The latest report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) details trends in non-communicable diseases in countries as well as their responses.

"I see no lack of commitment. I see a lack of capacity to act, especially in the developing world," says WHO director-general Margaret Chan. "Our latest data show that 85 percent of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases occur in developing countries."

South Africans between the ages of 30 and 70 have an almost 30 percent chance of dying from a non-communicable disease - almost double the risk of peers in the UK.

About half of deaths in South Africa are due to infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, poor maternal and child health, and poor conditions.

Non-communicable diseases are responsible for 44 percent of deaths nationwide. Heart disease is responsible for most of these deaths, followed by cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

A glance at South Africa's health may explain why. …

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