Thumbs up on national cancer control plan inclusivity

Thumbs up to the NCDs cluster of the National Department of Health (NDoH) for its responsiveness to stakeholder recommendations. The draft cancer plan, National Plan for the Prevention and Control of Cancer 2015 – 2020 (NCCP) is being reviewed by multisector – all of society stakeholder meeting early next month. Click here to review this draft.

Feedback from stakeholders on the 2014 a draft NCCP made it clear that more consultation was needed. The initial stakeholder meeting to its content (organisational structure) and process of development (planning process) in Pretoria on 6 February 2015.

The aims of the meeting include:

  • Identifying priorities in cancer prevention and control;
  • Setting goals and objectives;
  • Setting strategies for intervention;
  • Setting processes and timelines to achieve a final draft.


Professor Melvyn Freeman and the cluster team are to be congratulated on the transparent and inclusive step. The 1999 NCCP needs urgent revision to provide an integrated, comprehensive people-centered plan for South Africa. The new plan must take into account:

  • changing demographic and epidemiological trends
  • global and national targets
  • the health and developmental agendas.

For more information contact Elmie Engelbrecht at [email protected]

Click here to download the revised draft outline for consideration.

Hot off the press WHO Global NCDs Status Report 2014

Global NCDs Status Report 2014

Global NCDs Status Report 2014

A World Health Organization report on NCDs prevention and control (2014) that is framed around the nine voluntary global targets. The report provides data on the current situation, identifying bottlenecks as well as opportunities and priority actions for attaining the targets.
The 2010 baseline estimates on NCD mortality and risk factors are provided so that countries can report on progress, starting in 2015. In addition, the report also provides the latest available estimates on NCD mortality (2012) and risk factors, 2010-2012.

All ministries of health need to set national NCD targets and lead the development and implementation of policies and interventions to attain them. There is no single pathway to attain NCD targets that fits all countries, as they are at different points in their progress in the prevention and control of NCDs and at different levels of socioeconomic development. However all countries can benefit from the comprehensive response to attaining the voluntary global targets presented in this report.

Click here to download report

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.)

Latest version of the NCDs benchmarking exercise Jan 2015

The latest version of the 2014 NCDs Benchmarking exercise conducted by the South African NCDs Alliance can be found here.  Click here to download. It is in the process of final modification for publication later this month.

The NCD Benchmarking Exercise assesses the national capacity for responding to NCDs framed by a civil society perspective.

It is framed to complement national reporting processes on NCDs, as well as WHO monitoring on NCDs.
It includes elements of the NCD national response/capacity that are not reflected in official government/WHO reporting, such as elements that relate to civil society organization engagement and capacity.

The benchmarking tool was developed in consultation with an expert working group of the NCD Alliance.
It is piloted as part of the NCD Alliance programme “Strengthening Health Systems, Supporting NCD Action” in Brazil, the Caribbean Community and South Africa.
The programme is funded by a generous grant from Medtronic Philanthropy.

If you have any comments lease return comments to Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson

Feedback on NCDs Action meeting with Deputy Minister Dec 14


The SA NCD Alliance and its NCDs Network met with the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla on 11 December 2014.

The most important outcome is the establishment of a 2 monthly intersectoral NCDs forum for communication and consultation. The purpose of the forum is to inform, involve and seek feedback from stakeholders on NCDs related initiatives.  This is seen as the first step towards a national NCDs coordinating mechanism. These functions may, it time be taken over by the National Health/ NCDs Commission (NCDsCom).

The meeting’s objectives were achieved:

  • -To show support for the National Department of Health’s (NDoH’s) NCDs Strategic Plan 2013-2014
  • -To convey the findings of the research into the national response to NCDs.
  • -To ask for NCDs action in terms of resolutions adopted at the SA NCDs Alliance Kopano in November 2014.
  • -To offer the SA NCD Alliance’s assistance with NCDs action


Below is a list of resources relating to the meeting:

Other achievement of the meeting were:

  • Regular 2 monthly NCDs meetings between NDoH and SA NCD Alliance. This includes provincial departments and other stakeholders. The purpose of this meeting is to improve communication about NCDs action and programmes by all stakeholders.
  • Agreement to work together on solutions for NCDs
  • NDoH accepted off to use NCDs networks and expertise.
  • Agreement for SA NCD Alliance and NCDs Network to contribute to the  development NCDsCom documentation.

However, we failed to influence the urgent implementation the long overdue National Health Commission/ NCDs Commission or to have it delinking to the publication of the NHI White Paper. The linkage is seen by the SA NCD Alliance as a mechanism to  postponed the NCDsCom implementation and remove it from the NCDs sphere of activity.