Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity – Final Report

This is the WHO final report into ending childhood obesity. Coming as we have just celebrated world obesity day on October 11th 2016. A number of South African causes and initiatives have rallied behind the epidemic looking for answers and solutions to it.

“Obesity rates in South Africa are increasing rapidly, with almost 70% of women and 40% of men either overweight or obese, according to The Lancet. One in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of 2 and 14 years are overweight or obese.” –  To read the full South African Department of Health media statement click here

“South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in sub-Saharan Africa, with up to 70% of women and almost 40 percent of men classified as overweight or obese. Some 40% of women in our country are obese (body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2). One in four girls and one in five boys between the ages of 2 and 14 years are overweight or obese.
Poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.  Obesity is associated with several  non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, joint pain and certain cancers.
These lifestyle diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, resulting in 16 million premature deaths each year. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that NCDs will account for 73% of deaths and 60% of the disease burden by the year 2020, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. These NCDs now account  for a staggering 43% of recorded deaths in South Africa. The chronic nature of NCDs demands long-term care and imposes a significant burden on our overburdened health system.” – Exert from the Draft Manifesto For Healthy Living Alliance



This video is useful in highlighting the young obesity problem facing so many children worldwide.

The report has taken over two years to conclude and contains 6 main recommendations into tackling the problem listed below.


For the full report and the recommendations please download the report here. Download


Fix Patent Laws – March and Report

The long awaited march to the Department of Trade and Industry by Treatment Action Campagin in regard to Fix Patent laws happened on September 27th.

The march was a resounding success and raised massive awareness and attention on the desperate need for patent law reform in South Africa. The relatively new movement is gaining fast and power traction and government and industry are starting to take notice of it. The next big step is to take the 1000 people see here and double that at the next march.

To download the print and digital media see link below

Download Here
International Patent reform timeline PDF
Fix The Patent Laws Final report PDF





Comment on WHO Draft Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion by 15 October 2016

The Zero Draft Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion is open for web-based consultation with NGOs and other interested groups.  Send comments to [email protected] by 15 October 2016. Participants at the WHO’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion (Shanghai 21-24 November 2016) will endorse the final declaration. The purpose of the conference is to highlight the critical links between health promotion and achieving the SDGs.

Infographic VJ Pinkney-Atkinsln

Infographic VJ Pinkney-Atkinson

  • ENTRY POINT  block shows 3 key areas in which health promotion is to be used for strengthening/supporting.
  • ACTIONS  block  into entry points for health promotion
  • TRANSFORMATIVE STRATEGIC APPROACHES interact at all level and between all concepts.  Hence the concentric rings.

SDG 3 calls for universal health coverage with health promotion as the tool that bring about transformation.  Citizens and civil society are key participants. Nothing for us, without us.

The figure above summarises a rather complex document. SDGs require integration and complex relationships occurring between the same level and levels.

Let us know what you think.

Combating NCDs in Africa request to -WHO AFRO Regional Meeting declaration

Africa’s response to the epidemic of NCDs since the political declaration on NCDs in 2011 has been underwhelming.
74% of WHO AFRO countries do not have an operational national strategy/ plan that incorporates the major NCDs and their associated burden of disease.

NCDs is the fastest growing burden of disease in the Africa Region with the mortality rate increasing from 21% in 2010 to 30% in 2012.

Africa is in a precarious position, as most countries are under resourced and unprepared to deal with the fast growing NCDs epidemic. This will further lead to social and economic implications in the near and distant future.

The East African regional meeting co-hosted with the NCD Alliance sought to address this matter and gather all relevant stakeholders in place to move action and awareness forward.

With the low and often non-existent action on NCDs in African countries agendas the NCD Alliance, WHO AFRO and partners have co-signed an agreement to raise awareness and get action.

  1. Expedite the development and implementation of national NCD policies/strategic plans which are integrated across sectors.
  2. Increase and ensure adequate and sustainable budgetary allocations for NCDs in line with recommendations of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
  3. Strengthen health systems to respond to NCDs care and treatment including integrating NCDs care and treatment at primary health care settings
  4. Develop or, where necessary, adapt existing health information systems to collect comprehensive health data including NCDs to enable monitoring and appropriate planning.

The SA NCD Alliance (as PHANGO) is a partner in this initiative with 18 other organisations.
You can read the full document and press release here


Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Global Status Report 2015-17: People, Policy, Programmes, Progress

rhd global reportThe report was written by the World Heart Federation on behalf of RHD Action. It provides a ‘snapshot’ of the people, policies and programmes that are working to prevent and control RHD around the world today. It features interviews with the people at the heart of the RHD community: both those living with RHD and the health workers who care for them.

There is a section on this issues in South Africa written by Dr Liesl Zühlke, Paediatric Cardiologist, Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town; Co-Director, RhEACH

You can read the report in full here.

Extract from the South African Section of the Global Status Report

The Awareness, Surveillance, Advocacy and Prevention (ASAP) programme continues apace in South Africa, with each of the four pillars served by a programmatic area. The programme’s strong record of surveillance projects continues with INVICTUS, which is the most ambitious RHD registry project launched to date. South Africa is also moving ahead in terms of research through the RHDGen project, which is studying the genetic makeup of people living with RHD, in order to identify people at high risk of developing RHD so that they may be prioritised for preventive treatment.
Advocacy for people living with RHD is another priority for the future. The South African programme has a good track record of including and empowering these communities: for example, the findings of the REMEDY study and RHDGen are being communicated to participants living with RHD before being released to the wider scientific community.
Patient advocacy will be a central theme during 2016’s annual congress of the South African Heart Association in Cape Town. A consortium of RHD organizations, including RHD Action, will invite 150 people living with RHD to join the congress for a morning of mobilization and advocacy, providing a venue for people living with RHD to better understand and manage their disease, network with their peers, and strengthen their relationships with the RHD research community.