In the death stakes #1 is the position to avoid. Stroke and diabetes are the 2nd and 3rd main causes of death in South Africa according to the 2014 figures just released by StatisticsSA. TB remains in unenviable pole position but the number of deaths are dropping each year. Great news.

The ranking looks very different if diabetes and heart/ blood vessel disease are grouped. This makes sense because essentially they kill you in the same way, by cardiovascular diseases (CVD.) So this is what the figures look like done that way around

  • 18.7%  CVD  (stroke, heart attacks, diabetes and other heart conditions) with <0.2% national budget and NO  provincial NCDs budgets

health budget by programme

  • 13.2%   TB &  HIV/AIDS with 39.6% funding (see figure 2 right.)

Deaths from NCDs increase every year while HIV/AIDS and TB deaths have declined each year since 2007. And that is really good news. (See figure above.) However, it is disheartening that NCDs deaths continue upwards.

TB leads the number of deaths in the 15-64 age groups. The between 15-44 years infections are the big killers with HIV/AIDS in 2nd spot. NCDs don’t feature in the top ten but this changes in those over 44 year. NCDs play a much more important part.

How cost effective is screening 8 million people with diabetes and hypertension  via the HIV/AIDS Counselling and Testing (HCT) programme?  The stats seem to indicate different target age groups for HCT versus NCDs screening which is for at least those older than 45 years. What do you think?

The provincial ranking places the Western Cape in top CVD position followed closely by KwaZulu-Natal.

To get the full picture read the StatisticsSA report.