2023 was a busy year for healthcare in South Africa. We saw several promising policy developments, landmark court cases, important pieces of legislation, and some changes in leadership. Yet, take a step back and at facility level little seems to have changed. Shortages of healthcare workers persist, corruption is still rife, budgets tight, and our health governance crisis remains as acute as ever. Marcus Low looks back at the year in health in fewer than 1 000 words.
Experts describe rising obesity rates in South Africa as an “urgent crisis”, “a tsunami” – even an “epidemic” – that is costing lives, not to mention billions of rands. Tackling the situation warrants an action plan that is as comprehensive and cogent as the problem is dire. But does the new national strategy fit the bill? Amy Green asked several local experts.
Diabetes rates in South Africa are anticipated to keep rising in the coming years as the country’s health burden slowly shifts away from infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis toward non-communicable diseases. The relevant government strategy sets three key diabetes targets. Elri Voigt spoke to several local experts about these targets and South Africa’s prospects of meeting them.
Obesity is a complicated public health issue that can be devastating on both the societal and the individual level. New weight loss medicines have shown remarkable efficacy in clinical trials, but their high cost is limiting uptake. Amy Green asks where these new medicines should fit into South Africa’s response to rising levels of obesity.
With little progress being made in certain areas of child, adolescent and maternal health, Kathryn Cleary spoke to the experts to outline the top 10 issues to watch for the new year and the new decade.