3 September 2020 – CANSA is partnering with the South African Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (SANCDA) to support the Global Week for Action on NCDs (7 to 11 September 2020). Hosted annually by the global NCD Alliance, the theme for 2020 is ‘Accountability’. #ActOnNCDs #BuildBackBetter – download infographics…
The SANCDA and partners are urging government to help lower NCDs related deaths and implement ongoing, sustained care for people living with NCDs, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. NCDs such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health – are currently the number one cause of death and disability globally and in South Africa, with the global NCD burden expected to increase by 17% by 2025. *+
Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of the SANCDA says, “Accountability means that we, the people must monitor the commitments to act made by government and policymakers. We want to see that promises are kept and measured. Before COVID-19, the NCDs group of conditions caused most deaths in South Africa but remained neglected within government policy and budgets.+. COVID-19 has highlighted this neglect, and most people who die following COVID-19 infection, have one or more NCDs. People living with well managed NCDs have a better chance of survival. We have to keep on asking government for people living with NCDs to have proper access to care and medicines during the pandemic and into the future.”
Zodwa Sithole, CANSA’s Head of Advocacy, adds, “Everyone is affected by NCDs in some way, including a cancer diagnosis. Be it living with an NCD, caring for someone with an NCD or being at risk for an NCD. South Africans need to stand together and be voices of change, calling on government to step up with meaningful action to lower preventable suffering, death and disability from NCDs.”
The SANCDA makes the call for better monitoring, data and action on commitments and integrating NCDs into the COVID-19 response. The health needs of people with NCDs must be met at primary health care level close to the community within national health insurance (NHI). The treatment and management of NCDs, including pain medication, must be available and accessible to all NCDs patients.
The SANCDA and CANSA are hosting a webinar on 15 September 2020 to profile Global NCD Week and focus on accountability and how to build back better health care for people living with NCDs after COVID-19. Chaired by Zodwa Sithole, CANSA’s Head of Advocacy, the webinar includes messages from high-level policymakers and the main address by Dr Vicki Pinkney-Atkinson, Director of SANCDA and a person living with over 20 NCD conditions plus input by the National Department of Health.
Pinkney-Atkinson states, “We’re excited to have participation from people living with NCD’s about their personal experiences and how they want to see “Accountability Now”. We invite all health media, global and national partners and people living with NCDs to join us on the 15th of September 2020. No voice is too small and each voice can make a difference by putting pressure on government to deliver support to people with NCDs.”
The webinar will be streamed via live Facebook on @southafricanncdsalliance, Tuesday 15 September 2020 from 13:00 to 14:00.
(For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email [email protected]. Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.)
NCDs are a large group of health conditions that are generally not spread from person to person and used to be called chronic illness until 2000 when the Millennium Develop Goals force a new definition. Often the 5 main NCDs groups of conditions are noted: diabetes, circulatory disorders, mental health, cancer, and chronic respiratory illnesses. However, there are many more conditions that do not get a mention. Globally NCDs conditions are responsible for 41 million deaths annually and they are leading cause of death in South Africa since 2013. Diabetes is the leading cause of death of South African women.
However, the NCDs agenda is not just about illness it goes to a whole of society and whole of government response and for this we need an expanded understanding, meaning, NCDs+. The expanded NCDs+ advocacy agenda includes prevention, vulnerable populations, stigma control and disability. NCDs+ has many determinants (social, economic, and commercial) that disproportionately impact poor people. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address NCDs+ and its inclusion as an equal part of universal health coverage. (National Health Insurance in South Africa).
About the SA NCDs Alliance
The SA NCDs Alliance, established in 7 years ago, is a civil society partnership between three trusted NCDs advocacy organisations: CANSA, Diabetes SA and the Heart & Stroke Foundation SA.
Its mission is for the people of South Africa have equitable access to quality NCDs+ prevention and management within universal health coverage/ NHI.
For this important COVID-19 and NCDs+ advocacy project nearly 90 civil society organisations are collaborating:
- Cancer Alliance South Africa
- Dementia South Africa
- Epilepsy South Africa
- Global Mental Health Peer Network
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) SA
- National Kidney Foundation SA
- Palliative Treatment for Children SA (PatchSA)
- South African Disability Alliance
- South African Federation for Mental Health
The SA NCDs Alliance’s goal in this programme it to ensure that the policy window of opportunity opened by the COVID-19 pandemic is used to make NCDs a priority in government policy through collaboration with NCDs civil society to put it on a par with HIV & TB.
Diabetes helpline +27-81-578-6636