Though the numbers are relatively uncertain, it is estimated that between four and five million people in South Africa are living with diabetes. One reason for the uncertainty is a lack of testing. A lack of testing also means that many people get diagnosed too late in the course of the disease. Elri Voigt asks what we do and do not know about diabetes in the country and what should be done about it.
Every year that National Treasury cannot deliver a health promotion levy of 20%, people in South Africa will die from the diseases that this levy could help prevent. And it is the poorest in South Africa who are the hardest hit, argues Lawrence Mbalati.
The recent budget policy statement shows South Africa finds itself in a very tight fiscal space where it has to navigate a global pandemic along with other health challenges such as rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Russell Rensburg argues that the Health Promotion Levy should be increased to 20% – which will raise much-needed revenue that will contribute to preventing disease and reducing healthcare costs.
Roughly 42% of people with diabetes who tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be admitted to hospital in the Western Cape had died as of 16 July. Elri Voigt asked experts why people with diabetes who are hospitalised with COVID-19 have such poor prognoses.
On July 22 Richard Abrahams, his wife, and three children celebrated his 65th birthday with orange cake and well-wishes. Less than a month before, Abrahams was struggling to breathe due to COVID-19 and receiving oxygen at Cape Town’s Hospital of Hope. He shared his story with Biénne Huisman.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa desperately needs to address the increase in the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases as measures to address NCDs to date have not had enough of an impact.