Question NW2254 to the Minister of Health

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17 June 2022 - NW2254

Profile picture: Clarke, Ms M

Clarke, Ms M to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What is the strategy of his department in terms of combating (a) diabetes and (b) obesity; (2) what (a) programmes are currently in place to combat (i) obesity and (ii) diabetes and (b) are the current allocations for the specified programmes?


1. (a) The strategy of the Department to combat Diabetes is contained in the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2022- 2027 (NSP NCDs). The Plan provides strategic guidance on the prevention, early detection, screening, and control of non-communicable diseases including diabetes. The NSP NCDS is aligned to the Integrated Clinical Services Management Model as part of the Ideal Clinic, the Adult Primary Care Tool implemented at primary health care facilities, the Essential Medicines List and 1Associated Standard Treatment Guidelines, the Centralised Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) Model. NCDs are integrated into the Primary Health Care Service Package (2015).

(b) The department developed and implemented the “Strategy for the prevention and control of obesity in South Africa 2015 – 2020”. The strategy is aimed at the prevention and control of obesity through modifying the obesogenic environments and drivers of obesity, while enhancing opportunities for increased physical activity and healthy food options in every possible setting, including healthcare facilities, early development centres, schools, workplaces, and the community at large. The strategy reached the end of its term and the Department is in the process of developing the updated strategy which began by reviewing the 2015-2020 strategy using interrogation of the theory of change in line with South Africa’s international policy commitments and national legislation, policy and plans, a literature review of international and national best practices, wide stakeholder engagement through online survey and small physical meetings, and finally, a national workshop with stakeholders. The best practices, stakeholder engagements and the review reports have been produced. The Department is currently consulting key stakeholders on the first draft of the updated strategy.

(2) (a) (i) The following are programmes to currently in place to combat obesity:

  • Implementation of the National guide for Healthy meal provisioning in the workplace in collaboration with the Department of Public Service and Administration
  • Implementation of the Nutrition Guidelines for Early Childhood Development programmes in collaboration with the Departments of Basic Education and Social Development
  • Increasing the availability of healthy food options through Healthy Food Options Initiatives programme of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa
  • Nutrition education, information and advocacy in health facilities, ECD centres, schools, workplaces and communities at large through various campaigns e.g. World Breastfeeding Week, National Nutrition Week, Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Day and World Obesity Day in collaboration with other government departments, non-government organisations, dietetics and nutrition profession associations and academic institutions.
  • Promotion of physical activity in collaboration with Department of Sport, Arts and Culture
  • Nutrition assessment, education and counselling of individuals in health facilities
  • Nutrition screening, assessment and referral of overweight and obese learners through the Integrated School Health Programme
  • Conducting research to guide policy and interventions i.e., National Dietary Intake Survey

(ii) Programmes currently in place to combat diabetes among others include.

  • Conducting health education and awareness programs on the need to promote wellness generally and on the causes of Diabetes during the commemoration of health events.
  • Undertaking screening for diabetes and referral of persons who fail screening or are at high risk, to health facilities including by trained Community Health Workers.
  • Creating access to medicines and consumables through the CCMDD Program,
  • Establishing a National Tender to ensure the availability of Strips for Glucometers
  • Ensuring that required medicines are on the Essential Medicines List.
  • Collaborating with relevant Stakeholders including civil society organisations and persons living with NCDS, including Diabetes.

(b) The current allocation to combat obesity and diabetes are inclusive of the Equitable Share received by provinces. The programme does not have a ring-fenced allocation however the Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Levy budget is also used for these programmes.


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