Editorial

SANHANES: A unique survey series in the health landscape

Demetre Labadarios, Olive Shisana, Thomas Rehle, Leickness Simbayi

Abstract


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent a leading threat to human health and development. Globally, NCD deaths are projected to increase by 17% over the next 10 years, with the greatest increase to be seen in the African region (27%). South Africa is undergoing an epidemiological transition from communicable diseases to NCDs, and recent reliable estimates of population health parameters are essential to understand the nature of the changing disease profile in the country for designing effective health promotion and disease prevention intervention programmes. The 2012 South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES) is the first of a series of surveys (SANHANES-1), provides baseline data on a representative sample of the population for longer term follow-up, combines personal interviews with standardised physical examinations and diagnostic procedures which go beyond the scope of previous national health surveys, provides the latest information on a broad range of health domains and associated risk factors, and addresses the National Department’s of Health priority health indicators. SANHANES-1 generated data that are being used to develop health policy and health programmes and services, nationally and internationally, and elicited extensive media and scientific coverage at both levels. The second survey in the series (SANHANES-2) is in its early stages of development and will address other pressing health priorities in the country.

 


Authors' affiliations

Demetre Labadarios, Executive Director: Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Olive Shisana, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Thomas Rehle, Senior Programme Advisor, HIV/AIDS, STIs AND TB, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

Leickness Simbayi, Executive Director: HIV/AIDS, STIs AND TB, Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs); South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES); Health policy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(10):675-676. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8842

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-08-20
Date published: 2014-08-29

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