The National Health Research Committee (NHRC) will this week hold an important summit to look at the various health challenges facing the government. The summit takes place on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 July 2011 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
According to the chairperson of the NHRC, Professor Bongani Mayosi, South Africa is facing four main health challenges:
the life span of South Africans has become shortened due to infections such as HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis
it is been shortened as a result of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes
deaths of mothers and infants at childbirth
injuries such as during car accidents and interpersonal violence, murder and stabbings.
Professor Mayosi says this shortening of the lifespan is unprecedented. "For instance in 1955, a person could live to be 50 years and by 1990 South Africans could expect to live up to 70 years. However less than two decades later, we have reverted back to the 1955 situation, with a lifespan of 50 years for men and 54 for women," he says.
The summit will be opened by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, while the Director General of Health, Ms Precious Matsoso will talk on the "Objectives and Perspectives on the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategy and Plan of Action."
Close to 300 researchers and academic experts from various universities are also expected to attend the summit, including those from the University of Cape Town, University of Limpopo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Free State University, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, UNISA and others.
Also present will be researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) among others.
The media is invited to cover this summit which takes place at:
Venue: Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre
Date: 26-27 July 2011