Advancing the agenda on noncommunicable diseases: prevention and management at community level
Egbujie, Bonaventure Amandi
Tsolekile, Lungiswa Primrose
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South Africa is experiencing an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which imposes a heavy burden on healthcare services. The South African government has made great strides towards management and control of NCDs, including the development of management guidelines, healthpromotion and prevention policies intended to assist healthcare workers, facilities and communities in NCD care. However, it appears that the facility-based component of NCD management and control efforts has received more attention than the community-level components. The national strategic plan for NCDs highlights the importance of community-level interventions in chronic NCD care. Thus there is a need for community-based strategies for NCD prevention, control and management to complement facility-based health services. This chapter explores the advancement of the NCD agenda in South Africa through an emphasis on community-level prevention and management. It describes interventions that used community actors such as community health workers in NCD care. The chapter discusses some of the challenges of these interventions, and ends with possible suggestions for South Africa.