Trends in mortality from non-communicable diseases in South Africa, 1997-2005
Eric O Udjo, University of South Africa
Until 1994, South Africa experienced institutionalized apartheid. Apartheid policies had a deleterious effect on the health of the majority of South Africans due to inequalities to access to basic services. Post-apartheid Governments have committed themselves to redressing past inequalities in access to basic social services. Despite apartheid policies, mortality in South Africa declined steeply in the 1980s. However, since the late 1990s, there has been a steady increase in mortality due to AIDS. While communicable diseases will continue to play a key role in the overall mortality non-communicable diseases would probably become increasingly important with Governments’ efforts to redress past racial inequalities in access to basic social services. Using death registrations data, this study examines trends in mortality from non-communicable diseases in South Africa. The public health policy implications of the results for South Africa are also discussed.