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Provinces slow to prioritise NCDs

imagesOnly 3 provinces have draft (not officially approved) NCDs plans and none have a budgetary allocation that can be traced to NCDs. Assessing the extent of NCDs roll out is difficult as neither budgets nor monitoring mechanisms are available. The three provinces are Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga (see Table 1).

No province meets the all of the criteria for an operational NCDs plan:

  • NGOs & PLWNCDs engaged in national NCD plan development
  • Provincial budgetary allocation for prevention and treatment
  • Intersectoral NCDs mechanism including NGOs, PLWNCDs and private sector
  • NCDs plan with a ‘whole of government’ approach, i.e. with areas for action beyond the health sector.

NCDs plans could be standardised if a template existed and that could easily be one of the first tasks of the long delayed NCDs Commission / National Health Commission.

Discouraged NCDs personnel in provinces

Dedicated health officials from the provincial heath head offices work on NCDs despite the low priority given by leaders to fight NCDs. One such worker recently said: “I have been told there is no budget for NCDs health promotion in our province for the rest of the financial year. What am I supposed to do for the next 5 months? It is very discouraging.”

Table 1:  NCDs plans available and operational in provinces

Eastern Cape: Unknown No web-based documentation found and no response to request for NCDs plan.
Free State Unknown No web-based documentation found and no response to request for NCDs plan.
Gauteng: Partial Completed draft NCDs operational plan that is combined with geriatrics and eye care. (26) Goals, targeted and with budget request. Intersectoral objectives with meetings and district coordinators already take place. Availability of plan not known.
KwaZulu-Natal Partial Completed draft NCDs plan used to guide activities which presented at the intersectoral KZN–SA NCD Alliance Indaba (workshop) in June 2014.(27). However, support is implied by the attendance of the Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Health at the NCDs meeting. (28)
Limpopo: unknown No web-based documentation found and no response to request for NCDs plan.
Mpumalanga partial Completed draft NCDs Operational Plan 2014 (29)
North West unknown No web-based documentation found and no response to request for NCDs plan.
Northern Cape unknown No web-based documentation found and no response to request for NCDs plan.
Western Cape partial Plan under construction. (30)

Source: SA NCD Alliance Benchmarking NCDs for action 2015.  Full list of references in benchmarking document (all are all provincial government documents.)

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