Guest Editorial

Non-communicable diseases in South Africa: A challenge to economic development

Karen Hofman


The economic development of a nation depends in part on the health of its population. Addressing the non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemic is critical to a virtuous cycle of improved public health outcomes and better economic growth. To successfully reduce premature mortality from NCDs, accurate monitoring of the burden and the outcome of interventions is critical. More funding must be allocated to expand robust health and costing data to include NCDs, and regular, updated quality metrics that are readily accessible and comprehensible will enable the provincial health departments to accurately plan, budget and evaluate their activities. Such institutional and policy interventions have the potential to harness public health as the basis of inclusive economic growth.

Author's affiliations

Karen Hofman, PRICELESS-SA (Priority Cost Effective Lessons for Systems Strengthening); Medical Research Council/University of the Witwatersrand Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Full Text



NCDs; Economics

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(10):647. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8727

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-07-28
Date published: 2014-07-31

Article Views

Abstract views: 4861
Full text views: 27054

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here