|TARGET #||DESCRIPTION||SA STATUS
(PER 2019 COUNTRY REPORT)
|3.4||By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and wellbeing
|Mortality rates attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases have remained relatively stable between 2011 and 2016
For 2016 these rates were:
· Cardiovascular disease:11%
· Cancer: 7%
· Diabetes: 4%
· Chronic respiratory diseases: 3%
In 2013, the suicide mortality rate was on the increase, but it declined in 2015 when it was 1,3 per 100 000
Mortality rates from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have remained relatively constant between 2011 and 2016 (the periods for which the 2019 Country Report has data). Therefore there has been no reduction, and the target of a one third reduction requires effective action if we are to achieve this SDG by 2030.
According to an article from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), South Africa is one of the countries that could fail to achieve SDG 3.4 by 2030. It states that South Africa has the highest rate of people who are overweight and obese in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 70% of women being overweight. Research has also proven that five out of every ten adults in South Africa suffer from hypertension. Professor Andre Pascal Kengane, NCD Countdown 2030 collaborator and unit director of the SAMRC’s NCD research unit, says: ‘It is time that we wake up to this cold fact that we need to address the risk factors that contribute to all NCDs as they are fast becoming the leading cause of death now accounting for more than HIV and TB.’
|Unhealthy lifestyle habits /
common risk factors
|NCDs they result in*
|· Physical inactivity
· Cardiovascular diseases
· Respiratory diseases
|· Tobacco use
|· Harmful use of alcohol
|· Unhealthy diet (often involuntary, due to lack of money)
* According to the WHO, these four groups of diseases account for over 80% of all premature NCD deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that NCDs are expected to cost over $30 trillion between 2010 and 2030. Add to that mental health costs of $16 trillion over the same period, and it is clear that many people would be pushed to living below the poverty line.
Mental health is a huge issue in South Africa. the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SDAG) found that one in three South Africans will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives. A mental disorder affects your mood, thinking and behaviour. Examples of mental disorders are depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.
SADG also found that more than 40% of illnesses are the result of work-related stress, major depression, and burn-out or anxiety disorders and that companies are losing up to 16 days every year in productivity per employee because of this. In other words, around 15% of employees are absent on any given day. This costs the South African economy between R12 billion and R16 billion each year.
South Africa falls in the bottom four countries in the world for providing mental health treatment. To resolve these shortages, we need to start placing greater emphasis on preventive measures by proactively looking after the wellbeing of our population.
Our Bill of Rights guarantees the right to equitable health care for all South Africans as well as the progressive realisation of improvements in access to and quality of care. We have a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds, which has become even more of a problem with COVID-19. Not only are there not enough beds to treat physical illnesses, but the shortage of beds for patients with mental disorders increased. In 2019 the Financial Mail stated that the majority of those suffering from mental health issues are dependent on the public health sector, which has just 18 beds available for every 100 000 people.
The suicide mortality rate has been increasing and needs to be abated. In 2019, South Africa’s estimated suicide rate of 13,4 people per 100 000 was approximately four times the global rate of 3,6 per 100 000. And recently we learned that South Africa’s suicide rate is the eighth highest in the world, with around 8 000 people committing suicide each year. This number is expected to jump with the devastating social impact of COVID-19.
THIS IS WHY THE WORK DINESHRIE PILLAY CA(SA) DOES TO ACHIEVE SDG 3’S TARGET 3.4 IS SO IMPORTANT
A strong body of research supports the mind-body connection, which is all about how our thoughts and emotions have a widespread effect on our bodily processes like metabolism, hormone release and immune function. There are also several lines of research that suggest our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way to better respond to future threats. It is also a known fact that emotions, like stress, can produce physical symptoms like an upset stomach or a headache.
CA(SA) and ICF-ACC executive coach Dineshrie Pillay understands this mind-body connection and is doing her part to promote healthy thoughts, healthy living and wellbeing. In her work with people, she uses three principles from the medical field to promote an integrated lifestyle:
- The body releases a natural pain-relief chemical called endorphins.
- The placebo effect: The expectation that you will feel better after conducting a particular activity.
- Conditioning: The body learns to associate a particular ‘treatment’ with a certain biological response, which in turn influences hormone levels and immune responses.
Through her coaching sessions and online individual self-help toolkits, Dineshrie helps people condition their thoughts to change how they feel about themselves and their situation. It’s the placebo effect in motion.
In her book The contract with yourself, Dineshrie details how to create the conditioning effect. The book provides toolkits on how to remain committed; how to change your thoughts for a successful outcome; how to challenge yourself out of a comfort zone; how to love yourself and accept who you are as an individual; how to surround yourself with nurturing relationships; how to embrace and deal with failure; and how to live your life on your own terms.
Dineshrie herself is a role model for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. A vegetarian for over 15 years, she is an advocate for people to use sport and fitness as a means for overcoming personal barriers and achieve discipline in their lives. Dineshrie herself gave up alcohol and cigarettes in order to embrace a healthy mind in a healthy body. Her fitness photos are used on her social media posts to motivate, uplift and inspire her followers to a healthy mind and lifestyle.
During lockdown, Dineshrie released a motivational video to help people with their mental health in dealing with a feeling of hopelessness. That video has reached over 60 000 people, and she was invited to speak at a global convention on the topic of inspiring the human spirit.
As a Distinguished Toastmaster, Dineshrie has the gift of words and says: ‘When you appreciate that your body is a system, you can work with your body to lead and heal from within so that you can achieve long-term wellness and lifestyle.’
Is what you do supporting South Africa on it journey towards achieve target 3.4? We would love to know. Please share your contribution with us in the comments.
You can learn more about Dineshrie here:
- Her motivational video released during lockdown: https://youtu.be/rn6mCb1oC64.
- Her global speech as a result of that video: https://www.toaorg/Events/2020%20International%20Convention/Speakers/Dineshrie%20Pillay?utm_source=Convention&utm_medium=speakers&utm_campaign=dineshrie_pillay.
- Her book supporting a healthy lifestyle and overall wellbeing:https://www.amazon.com/Contract-Yourself-Dineshrie-Pillay-ebook/dp/B07LGBSC1N/.
- Her website: neospectives.com.
 Loc cit.
 The high cost of mental illness, Financial Mail, 28 November 2019.