n South African Medical Journal - Failing to numb the pain : the untreated epidemic : editorial

Volume 104, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, carries a significant burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. The relative distribution of these is projected to shift by 2030. By 2012, 25 million people in the sub-region were living with HIV/AIDS, comprising 70.8% of the global disease burden. Regionally, cancer is an emerging public health problem. In 2008 there were 715 000 new cases and 542 000 cancer-related deaths in Africa. This is projected to nearly double by 2030 due to population growth and ageing, with 36% of cancers infection-related, twice the global average.

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