oa South African Medical Journal - Screening for chronic diseases in South Africa - : editorial

Volume 103, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Screening for disease is one of the cornerstones of medicine and public health, used to help make a diagnosis in individuals presenting with suggestive clinical signs and symptoms, and to find early signs of disease in high-risk groups such as tuberculosis in miners and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. In addition, community-based screening for chronic diseases is becoming a regular part of healthcare systems in middle- and high-income countries. This has been defined as 'the systematic application of a test or enquiry to identify individuals at sufficient risk of a specific disorder to benefit from further investigation or direct preventive action, among people who have not sought medical attention because of symptoms of that disorder'.

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