n South African Medical Journal - Cardiovascular medicine in primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa : minimum standards for practice (part 1) : guest editorial

Volume 106, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for approximately30% of deaths worldwide, with 80% of this CVD burden occurring in developing countries. The epidemiological transition occurring in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the consequence of economic and social transformation, resulting in dramatic shifts in the disease spectrum from communicable diseases and malnutrition to CVD and cancer. South Africa (SA) is faced with the challenge of four colliding epidemics: (i) poor child and maternal health; (ii) high rates of interpersonal violence; (iii) infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; and (iv) non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including CVD. In SA NCDs are prevalent in both rural and urban areas, most prominently in poor persons living in urban and peri-urban settings, resulting in increasing pressure on acute and chronic healthcare services.

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