Communities to Act on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Communities to Act on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

This Global Week for Action on NCDs (6 – 12 September 2021), the South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (SANCDA), of which the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is a founding partner, celebrate the progress made in raising the profile of people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in SA. Together with other civil society members, the Global Week of Action on NCDs hails the power and potential of people to act together on and drive NCDs change. The aim is to ensure that commitments made by government to improve health for people living with NCDs, will become a reality. The challenges presented by COVID-19 will not compromise action to help relieve the NCDs burden.

#ActOnNCDs #NCDvoices

Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of the SANCDA says, “In SA, the people’s NCDs movement struggles to make the government recognise and meaningfully involve diverse groups, including people living with NCDs to reduce the NCDs burden. Government and other stakeholders committed to global targets to prevent and control NCDs and improve the health of the nation. Now we need to these commitments translate into meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Many NCDs are preventable, yet they remain the number one cause of death and disability globally and in SA. Diabetes is still the leading cause of death in SA women. NCDs are mainly driven by five preventable risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and air pollution. Weak health systems, under-investment and lack of accountability by government contributes to increasing the NCDs burden. NCDs include health conditions which usually don’t spread from person to person. Examples are cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and mental health conditions.

“If every person exercises the right to participate in decision making about their health we would have more accountability for NCDs prevention and care. The SANCDA and our many partners urge the people, including those living with NCDs, to join us in our quest to accelerate action on NCDs. Together we will hold the authorities to account for meeting our needs. What we demand is understanding community needs better, helping to identify gaps, developing options in response to challenges, understand the impact of decisions on different people, and balance input, perspectives and interests,” adds Pinkney-Atkinson, herself living with more than 20 NCDs.

By working together, civil society and the SANCDA highlights the actions undertaken to close the NCDs gap. Achievements include:

  • Teaming up with the Dullah Omar Institute with its expertise in constitutional law and human rights to explore how law and treaties advance the NCDs agenda. Legal measures against government for its failure to meet commitments to rights and equity are part of this.
  • Working with the National Department of Health to craft the national NCDs policy (due for publication soon).
  • Joining forces with local and global social movements representing people left behind, including those focussed on stigmatised NCDs conditions like disability, mental health and obesity.
  • Coordinating consistent civil society policy action across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) linked to NCDs prevention and control such as poverty, hunger, and emergency-disaster preparedness and responses to COVID-19.
  • Calls for inclusive NCD governance mechanisms to secure the role of people living with NCDs and civil society in health policy at national, regional and international levels, since 2013. SANCDA endorses the Global Charter on Meaningful Involvement of People Living with NCDs. As a tool this will ensure meaningful involvement and transparency.
  • Consistently communicating by leveraging outrage, rebuking injustice, translating evidence, sharing personal stories, celebrating successes, and campaigning collaboratively for the annual Global Week of Action on NCDs and other milestone days, weeks and political campaigns. It includes using traditional social media to make noise, demand change, and put issues, insights, and possible solutions in front of policymakers based on human rights and dignity..

Pinkney-Atkinson states, “During COVID-19, we experienced the devastating effects of neglect of NCDs and failure to invest in our health systems. Role players can prevent a repetition of this and can help close gaps and deliver progress on NCDs.”

#ActOnNCDs through social media

People affected by NCDs can be a voice of change by sharing their own messages of support by going to the Global Week for Action on NCDs Map of Impact on https://actonncds.org/take-action/be-a-voice-change . The Voices of Change online picture generator will quickly and easily upload a message and picture and share it on social media.

The SANCDA encourages all to get involved and share messages of support on social media platforms using the hashtags:  #ActOnNCDs #NCDvoices. Or mobilise action and be an agent of change – https://actonncds.org/take-action/go-extra-mile

 (For more information, please contact Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director SANCDA email: [email protected] or mobile +27-83-38-38-159

Or

Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email [email protected]. Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.

COVID-19 “adjusted” Phase 2 vaccine rollout 5 July 2021

COVID-19 “adjusted” Phase 2 vaccine rollout 5 July 2021

The NDoH official policy communication on vaccination 5 July outlines how the adjusted vaccination rollout. It differs from the original PHASE 2 rollout hence the use of “adapted.” It is not explicitly linked to phase 2 but it is hard to see where else it fits.  Missing are those with comorbidities like NCDs, including diabetes and cancer.

1.4 Every vaccination site (public or private) must have a pro-active plan for managing walkins for vaccination.

 

  • Age group (+40) and congregate responsibilities government supported by private ;
  • Essential workers according to government sector “vertical” rollout
  • Workers by priority “economic” sector (mining, automotive industry, taxi operators) rollout via companies. Not clear if limited to the above sectors.
  • A general caveat about using EVDS to register all who are vaccinated.
  1. NDoH & provincial DOH (PDoH) collaboration with private sector responsibilities

    1.1 Vaccination registration & administration by age groups (5 subpoints around EVDS and reimbursement).
    1.2 Working group 1: capacity analysis including underserved areas for the attention of PDoH, presumably with the prospect of solving problems (members NDoH/Business for SA).
    1.3 Working group 2: NDoH equity monitor of demand in districts/municipalities to resolve coverage issues & look at rollout to 40+.
    1.4 Walkins are OK & every vaccination site (public or private) must have a pro-active plan for walkins.  (6 subpoints)
    1.5 Congregate settings: homes for people with disabilities, old age homes and later on prisons (correctional facilities) remains PDoH / privates sector responsibility.

Roll-out of essential worker programme public sector

2.1  “Vertical” rollout with key government “sector” “projects” departments (9 subgroups)
2.2  PDoH not responsible for the above except “DBE project and around 220,000 people from 6 categories.
2.3  Vaccination of remaining health care workers (HCWs) according to V4HCW registration site and these also include “private employers.”  (5 items)
2.4  Police (SAPS) is managing its own vaccination project.
2.5 Department of Defence and Military Veterans for the SANDF programme due to start on 8 July.
2.6 A number of government services still to be finalisied e.g. correctional services vaccination.

3 Prioritised sectors of the economy

3.1  President listed these previously mining, automotive manufacturing and taxi operators.
3.2  Many private sector companies have started vaccination of employees and contract workers.
3.3  Companies using in-house or outsourced health services.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

4  EVDS-related issues

Four caveats about the importance of registering via EVDS in all circumstances.

Comment on: WHO epilepsy & neuro global action plan 2021 Draft

Comment on: WHO epilepsy & neuro global action plan 2021 Draft

A first draft of the WHO integrated global action plan (GAP) on epilepsy and neurological disorders is available for comment by 5 August 2021. Click here. Use the web-based consultation form to make comments or send comments to [email protected]

Background

The World Health Assembly (73rd session, 2020) endorsed a resolution on Global actions on epilepsy and other neurological disorders  (WHA 73.10), requesting WHO Director-General to develop an intersectoral GAP in consultation with Member States. The GAP must address the existing worldwide challenges and gaps in providing care and services for people with neurological disorders and ensure a comprehensive, coordinated response across sectors. 

In March 2021 WHO published a discussion paper on the intersectoral GAP on epilepsy and other neurological disorders. Member States, UN agencies and relevant non-state actors have shared comments via virtual and web-based consultations.  

 The first draft of the intersectoral GAP on epilepsy and other neurological disorders developed based on the inputs received, outlines the scope, vision, goal, and strategic objectives as well as specific actions for certain stakeholders. 

UHC people’s consultation for South Africa in 20 July 11:00-13:00

UHC people’s consultation for South Africa in 20 July 11:00-13:00

On 20 July 2021, the SA NCDs Alliance is co-hosting and coordinating a people’s consultation on universal health coverage (UHC). This is especially for you if you use government health services.

The South African version of UHC is called “national health insurance” or NHI. But are we talking about the same thing? There are some big differences. What do you think?

The event is a virtual focus group lasting 2 hours with 30 participants.  You can only participate if you apply. We want to hear your voice especially if you are part of a vulnerable or hard-to-reach group that uses public or government health services. So you need to complete that application form and showing us why your participation is important.

Apply to join the conversation here

  •  People who are left behind or have trouble having their health needs met before or during COVID-19?
  • Civil society participants, breakout group facilitators or note-takers.

We want to make sure that we hear from you, the people, and especially if you are in that “seldom heard” and vulnerable group. We can help a few selected participants with data package to participate on the day.

The event forms part of the United Nations Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (CSEM) for UHC2030 efforts to gather South African insights on the state of UHC.  Your views will be inputted into the UN State of the UHC Commitment Report for publication at the end of 2021 (around UHC Day 12 Dec). Here is the 2020 State of the UHC Commitment Report.

An excellent and relevant reference just published by WHO is Voice, agency, empowerment: Handbook on social participation for UHC 2021

TB leading single cause of death 2018 deaths StatsSA

A Stats SA report has revealed that TB remains the main leading cause of death in South Africa between 2016 and 2018.

The report, titled “Mortality and causes of death in South Africa: Findings from death notification, 2018”, provides information on levels, trends and patterns in mortality and cause-of-death statistics by socio-demographic and geographic characteristics.

“The mortality indicators and cause of death indicators presented in this report are critical indicators on the health status of the South African population,” said Stats SA.

“The main focus is on 2018 death occurrences; however, information on deaths that occurred during the period 1997 to 2017 is included in order to show trends in mortality. The cause-of-death statistics in this statistical release provide information on the leading underlying natural causes of death, patterns and trends in non-natural underlying causes of deaths, as well as comparison between immediate, contributing and underlying causes of death,” said Stats SA on Tuesday.

According to the report, mortality levels are declining in the country as indicated by the downward trend in the number of registered deaths since 2007.

The results showed that the total number of deaths registered at the Department of Home Affairs and processed by Stats SA in 2018 were 454 014.

While the occurrence of deaths in the country continued to decline, it differed by age and sex. The age group 65-69 had the highest proportion of deaths in 2018 at 8.4%, followed closely by age group 60-64 at 8.3%. Conversely, the lowest proportions of deaths were observed in age groups 5-9 years and 10-14 years at 0.6 % and 0.8%, respectively.

With regard to sex, between 1997 and 2018, there were more male than female deaths from age 0 to age group 65-69; whereas female deaths consistently exceeded male deaths for ages 70 years and above.

The results further indicate that in 2018, the highest sex ratio (167 male deaths per 100 female deaths) was observed in the age group 20-24 years. The pattern was observed for four consecutive years, between 2015 and 2018.

For the period 2016-2018, Tuberculosis remained the main leading cause of death in South Africa.

Diabetes mellitus, the report found, remained as the second leading underlying cause of death whose proportions have been increasing over the three years.

“According to the global burden of diseases, two of the top five leading underlying causes of death for males were communicable diseases (tuberculosis and HIV) whilst among females, there was only one communicable disease (HIV) with the rest being non-communicable diseases.

Stats SA said the results showed that 9 out of 10 leading causes of death were the same for both sexes, although with different rankings.

“Tuberculosis was the leading underlying cause of death for males, accounting for 7.2% of male deaths while diabetes mellitus was the leading underlying cause of death amongst females accounting for 7.7% of female deaths.

“Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] disease (4.6%) was the second leading cause of death for the males, followed by other forms of heart disease (4.5%). Cerebrovascular diseases (6.1%) was the second leading underlying cause of death for females.

“In 2018, the most significant decline amongst females were deaths due to tuberculosis which declined from 5.2% in 2016 to 4.8% in 2018. Uniform to this, there was a significant decline in tuberculosis deaths from 7.2% in 2015 to 7.6% in 2018 among males.

Non-natural deaths

Stats SA said although the number of deaths due to natural causes were higher than the number of deaths due to non-natural causes, the proportion of deaths due to non-natural cause have been on a slight increase in the recent years.

Between 2010 and 2018, a consistent increase in the proportions of deaths due to non-natural causes was noted from 9.0% in 2010 to 11.9% in 2018. The age groups mostly affected by non-natural causes of death in 2018 were age group 20-24 years and 15-19, accounting for 49.2% and 42.5%, respectively.

Males had higher proportions of deaths due to non-natural causes compared to females, with a wider difference observed at age group 15-29 where as much as 58,1% of male deaths resulted from non-natural causes compared to 19,8% of female deaths in the same age group.

Deaths due to non-natural causes were mainly dominated by those due to other external causes of accidental injury (68.3%) followed by assault (14.0%) whilst there were 11.4% non-natural deaths due to transport accidents.

In total, KwaZulu-Natal had the highest proportion of deaths due to non-natural causes (13.5%), followed closely by Cape Town (13.0%). In terms of proportions, deaths due to transport accidents were the highest in Limpopo (30.1%), whilst assault was highest in Eastern Cape (22.7%).

3rd Happy Hour Xchange with SANCDA

3rd Happy Hour Xchange with SANCDA

The South African Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (SANCDA) will host the 3rd Happy Hour Xchange on Thursday, 22 April 2021 at 18:00 focussing on ‘Disability, Down Syndrome and COVID-19.

Join Dr Vicki for her Xchange with Ancella Ramjas (National Executive Director: Down Syndrome SA) for part 1: Downright disastrous COVID-19 response for persons with Down Syndrome? And part 2: Missing the point of vaccinations.

Registration for the NCD Happy Hour Xchange is essential. Limited space is available.

Register for the NCD Happy Hour Xchange

#NCDsHappyHourXchange #SANCDA

People living with NCDs are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. NCDs are underlying health conditions that require you to take special care: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, obesity, dementia, kidney disease and cancer.

NCDs and other chronic conditions can make the immune system slow down and making it easier to get an infection like COVID-19. So, we want to keep you healthy.

The SANCDA, founded in 2013, brings together trusted South African organisations and together we have 200 years of service for people living with NCDs. We work with civil society organisations and individuals to focus on NCDs policy and implementation in South Africa. We want public policy that is transparent and responsive to all of our health needs and the conditions  we face. Our partners support the upfront disclosure and transparency of funding arrangements for stakeholders and partners. Our funding is received from philanthropic groups and supported by the global NCD Alliance.

Contact Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of SANCDA on 083 383 8159 or email: [email protected] for more information or visit https://www.sancda.org.za/

NCDs Happy Hour Xchange is funded by a NCD Alliance’s 2020 Act on NCDs Campaign Fuel Award, part of NCD Alliance’s partnership with Access Accelerated.

Watch the SANCDA Happy Hour Xchange 2

Watch the SANCDA Happy Hour Xchange 2

If you missed the SANCD Alliance Second Happy Hour Xchange last night, you can watch it on the below link. In this Happy Hour Xchange Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson discussed with Dr Waassila Jassat about COVID-19 in South Africa and NCDs – surfing for survival and surfing the waves, including the 3rd wave expected from the end of April.

Dr Waasila is a Public Health Specialist with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases– NICD).

In part 2, Dr Murray Dryden from NICD discusses long COVID-19 in South Africa, including how it differs from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

A Must watch for anyone living with a Non Communicable disease and worried about COVID-19.

The event was proudly managed byEP Digital South Africa

#keepingyouconnectedsince2014

#COVID19 #NonCommunicableDiseases

Watch the SANCDA Happy Hour Xchange 2

SANCDA Host Second Happy Hour Xchange

The South African Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (SANCDA) will host the 2nd Happy Hour Xchange on Thursday, 8 April 2021 at 18:00.

Dr Vicki will be Xchanging with Dr Waasila Jassat about COVID-19 in South Africa and NCDs – surfing for survival and surfing the waves, including the 3rd wave expected from the end of April. Dr Waasila is a Public Health Specialist (National Institute for Communicable Diseases – NICD).

In part 2, Dr Murray Dryden and Caroline Mudara from NICD are discussing long COVID-19 in South Africa, including how it differs from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Registration for the NCD Happy Hour Xchange is essential. Limited space available.

#NCDsHappyHourXchange

People living with NCDs are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. NCDs are underlying health conditions that require you to take special care: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, dementia, kidney disease and cancer.

NCDs and other chronic conditions can make the immune system slow down and making it easier to get an infection like COVID-19. So, we want to keep you healthy.

If you missed our first Happy Hour Xchange:

About NCDs Happy Hour Xchange

Happy Hour Xchange is a series of knowledge Xpanding events informing and inspiring NCDs+ civil society organisations and activists to engage on diverse policy issues. Xperts Xchange key emerging facts and unknowns with us in an open and frank discussion via Zoom. Our aim is to Xpand the NCDs+ policy dialogue through engagement and co-production.

Tone: Mutually respectful, interactive, inquisitive and informal.

Frequency: Weekly or biweekly Thursdays for 1 hour between 18:00-19:00 SAST.

Format: A modern-day seminar. Xpert, NAG selected chair,

  • Part 1: Xpert – 15 minutes and Questions 15 minutes
  • Part 2: Xpert – 15 minutes and Questions 15 minutes

Platform: Virtual meeting via Zoom a NAG chair and Xpert guest

Questions can be submitted before and during a session.

Cobranding with other organisations is possible.

Contact Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of SANCDA on 083 383 8159 or email: [email protected] for more information.

SANCDA Host 1st Happy Hour Xchange

SANCDA Host 1st Happy Hour Xchange

People living with NCDs are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill if they contract COVID-19. NCDs are underlying health conditions that require you to take special care: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, dementia, kidney disease and cancer.

NCDs and other chronic conditions make the immune system slow down, and it is more likely to get an infection like COVID-19. So we want to keep you healthy.

The South African Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (SANCDA) is proud to announce the first NCD’s Happy Hour Xchange on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 18:00 to discuss COVID-19 in South Africa, exploring the risk and priority of comorbidities as we enter the second year, preparing for the second phase of vaccinations, and preparing for the third wave.

The South African Non-Communicable Disease Alliance (SANCDA) is proud to announce the first NCD’s Happy Hour Xchange on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 18:00 to discuss COVID-19 in South Africa, exploring the risk and priority of comorbidities as we enter the second year, preparing for the second phase of vaccinations, and preparing for the third wave. (link: https://www.sancda.org.za/)

Dr Waasila Jassat, Public Health Medicine Specialist from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is our first Xpert
Waasila is responsible for the Daily Hospital Surveillance (DATCOV) report. To view the latest NICD report with comorbidities included.

Registration for the NCD Happy Hour Xchange is essential. Space is limited.
https://epdigital.co.za/sancd-webinar-registration/

#NCDsHappyHourXchange

About NCDs Happy Hour Xchange

Happy Hour Xchange is a series of knowledge Xpanding events informing and inspiring NCDs+ civil society organisations and activists to engage on diverse policy issues. Xperts Xchange key emerging facts and unknowns with us in an open and frank discussion via Zoom. Our aim is to Xpand the NCDs+ policy dialogue through engagement and co-production.

  • Tone: Mutually respectful, interactive, inquisitive and informal.
  • Frequency: Weekly or biweekly Thursdays for 1 hour between 18:00-19:00 SAST.
  • Format: A modern-day seminar. Xpert, NAG selected chair,
    • Part 1: Xpert – 15 minutes and Questions 15 minutes
    • Part 2: Xpert – 15 minutes and Questions 15 minutes
  • Questions can be submitted before and during a session.
  • Platform: virtual meeting via Zoom a NAG chair and Xpert guest

Suggested topics so far:

  • Targeted prevention Health Promotion Levy
  • Phase 2 vaccine rollout
  • Better Health Project SA report series on NCDs NSP related topics
    • Alignment of policy
    • Social & behavioural change communication
    • Data
    • Monitoring and evaluate
  • Prioritisation and NCDs health care who says what
  • Costing models for NCDs care
  • The Cascades of care
  • Social and other determinants of health
  • Food security, nutrition and obesity.
  • Post-COVID-19 agenda – build back fairer.
  • Global diabetes Compact
  • Integrated people-centred health services.

Cobranding with other organisations will be possible.

Contact Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of SANCDA on 083 383 8159 or email:
[email protected] for more information.

COVID-19 deaths not cut by hydroxychloroquine

COVID-19 deaths not cut by hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce deaths from COVID-19 and may even cause unwanted damage, recent studies have found. According to the new Cochrane Review, the drug probably does not reduce the number of people needing mechanical ventilation.

“In addition, they note that no new trials of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for treating COVID-19 should be started,” the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) said on Tuesday. The findings are contained in the study published by authors based in India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, who undertook the systematic review of studies that used chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for treating or preventing COVID-19 disease.

It is also likely that hydroxychloroquine caused more unwanted effects than placebo in the trials undertaken. I think this underlines the importance of ensuring that we have reliable evidence even in an emergency situation like this pandemic where there is public pressure for rapid treatments and prevention options.   

Dr Tamara Kredo, Cochrane South Africa, SAMRC

“They searched for studies that examined giving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to people with COVID-19; people at risk of being exposed to the virus; and people who had been exposed to the virus,” the SAMRC explained. According to the SAMRC, the public demand for a COVID-19 cure fuelled speculation that the drug might be effective based on unreliable research that did not meet the inclusion criteria of this review.

“The then US President Trump declared chloroquine a ‘game changer’ about a year ago, leading to global demand and confusion. The research community rapidly organised large trials, which demonstrated no evidence of an effect, and these trials are summarised in this review.”

The Council said the review authors included 14 relevant studies of which 12 were studies of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine used to treat COVID-19 in 8 569 adults. Meanwhile, the two studies focused on whether hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19 in 3 346 adults who had been exposed to the virus but had no symptoms of infection. This included research from different countries, four in China and one each from Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and North America and a global study in 30 countries.

According to the local author from Cochrane South Africa, Tamara Kredo, this review offers conclusive evidence that hydroxychloroquine has no impact on clinically important outcomes for both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Senior author, Dr Tom Fletcher, said: “The review should put a line under using this drug to treat COVID-19. But some countries and health providers are still caught up in the earlier hype and prescribing the drug. We hope this review will help these practices end soon”. This Cochrane Review was co-ordinated by the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (CIDG), which has its editorial base at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).

Cochrane South Africa (SA) is an internal research unit of the SAMRC and is part of the global, independent Cochrane network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochrane is a non-profit organisation that prepares and disseminates information on what works and what does not in healthcare. These reviews enable policymakers, health service providers and the public to make informed decisions about healthcare.