South African Health Review 2016

Padarath A, King J, Mackie E, Casciola J
Publication Year: 
Published by: 
Health Systems Trust

The content of the 19th edition of the South African Health Review (2016) is divided into four sections. The first of these is Leadership and Governance.  Chapter 1 describes the current legislative and policy framework guiding healthcare delivery, and Chapter 2 analyses the challenges that underpin the relatively poor performance of our health system, despite the financial resources directed towards it. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on water and food respectively. The first highlights the need for improved water and health management with greater surveillance of water quality, and the second examines the impact of a diet of highly processed and animal-origin foods with added sugar, salt and fat on the rise of non-communicable diseases in South Africa.

The next cluster of chapters examines the role of Human Resources in the public health system. Chapter 5 looks at Public Health Medicine graduates in health system development and restructuring, and Chapter 6 critiques the current approaches to managing ill-health among healthcare workers and assessing their ability to work. The role of health interpreters in developing a multilingual health service for South Africa’s culturally and linguistically diverse population is presented in Chapter 7, and the need for collaboration between biomedical and traditional health practitioners is discussed in Chapter 8.

The section on Service Delivery (Chapters 9‒16) reviews progress and impediments in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, examines the advancements that South Africa has made in promoting breastfeeding, and explains the technical infrastructure of the MomConnect programme, which has successfully generated a national register of pregnant women. Other chapters analyse congenital disorders as a cause of child mortality, the challenges of integrating existing mental health care policies and services into the health system, and the rights and health issues of South Africa’s sex workers. Trauma is underscored as a major burden of disease that constitutes approximately 25% of the emergency workload in most public health hospitals, highlighting the need for trauma prevention programmes. The final chapter in this section provides alternative methods of measuring clinical quality of care and client satisfaction.

The first of two chapters in the third section – covering financing and medical products – points to signs that although tackling the HIV 90-90-90 targets will be daunting, they are likely to be affordable and cost-effective if implemented in a phased way and if annual increments to Government AIDS budgets are sustained. The second offering in this segment discusses South Africa’s pharmaceutical pricing dynamics and related transparency issues.

Under the Information section, Chapter 19 reviews the concept of health research observatories as globally recognised, proactive institutions and describes the vision, mandate, purpose, scope and benefits of, as well as key challenges to, South Africa’s proposed National Health Research Observatory. The final chapter, that of Health and Related Indicators, offers its characteristically wide range of information, with a specific focus on the data needed to monitor non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

A limited number of SAHR 2016 CD versions are available upon request from HST's Westville office. They can be sent via the South African Post Office, or alternatively, you are welcome to arrange for a courier to collect a CD on your behalf.  Please send an e-mail with your name and phone number to giving the name of the courier company and the date and time of their expected arrival. 

Collection address

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Contact Primrose at Reception on 031 266 9090.

All files below are Adobe PDF files and are approximately 400kb, unless otherwise stated.

Complete SAHR 2016 (30.2 MB)

Beginning - Cover, Foreword, Contents and Acknowledgements



  1. Health Policy and Legislation
    Andy Gray, Yousuf Vawda
  1. Analysing the progress and fault  lines of health sector transformation in South Africa

    Laetitia Rispel

  1. Water, sanitation and health: South Africa’s remaining and existing issues

    David Hemson

  1. Diet-related non-communicable diseases in South Africa: Determinants and policy responses

    Mark Spires, Peter Delobelle, David Sanders, Thandi Puoane, Philipp Hoelzel, Rina Swart

  2. The contribution of specialist training programmes to the development of a public health workforce in South Africa

    Virginia Zweigenthal, Leslie London, William Pick

  3. Disabling health: The challenge of incapacity leave and sickness absence management in the public health sector in KwaZulu-Natal Province

    Rajen N. Naidoo, Saloshni Naidoo, Sujatha Hariparsad

  1. Language barriers in health: Lessons from the experiences of trained interpreters working in public sector hospitals i n the Western Cape

    Ereshia Benjamin, Leslie Swartz, Linda Hering, Bonginkosi Chiliza

  2. Bridging the gap between biomedical and traditional health practitioners in South Africa

    Mosa Moshabela, Thembelihle Zuma, Bernhard Gaede

  3. Achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health services: The potential and pitfalls for contraceptive services in South Africa

    Naomi Lince-Deroche, Melanie Pleaner, Jane Harries, Chelsea Morroni, Saiqa Mullick, Cindy Firnhaber, Masangu Mulongo, Pearl Holele, Edina Sinanovic

  4. Breastfeeding in South Africa: are we making progress?

    Lisanne du Plessis, Nazia Peer, Simone Honikman, René English

  1. MomConnect: an exemplar implementation of the Health Normative Standards Framework in South Africa

    Christopher Seebregts, Peter Barron, Gaurang Tanna, Peter Benjamin, Thomas Fogwill

  2. The contribution of congenital disorders to child mortality in South Africa

    Helen L. Malherbe, Colleen Aldous, David Woods, Arnold Christianson

  1. Integrating mental health into South Africa’s health system: Current status and way forward

    Marguerite Schneider, Emily Baron, Erica Breuer, Sumaiyah Docrat, Simone Honikman, Ashraf Kagee, Michael Onah, Sarah Skeen, Katherine Sorsdahl, Mark Tomlinson, Claire van der Westhuizen, Crick Lund

  1. Sex work and South Africa’s health system: Addressing the needs of the underserved

    Andrew Scheibe, Marlise Richter, Jo Vearey

  1. Trauma, a preventable burden of  disease in South Africa: Review of the evidence, with a focus on KwaZulu-Natal

    Timothy C. Hardcastle, George Oosthuizen, Damian Clarke, Elizabeth Lutge

  1. Strengthening the measurement of quality of care

    Ronelle Burger, Shivani Ranchod, Laura Rossouw, Anja Smith

  1. HIV and AIDS financing in South Africa: sustainability and fiscal space

    Mark S. Blecher, Gesine Meyer-Rath, Calvin Chiu, Yogan Pillay, Fareed Abdullah, Aparna Kollipara, Jonatan Davén, Michael Borowitz, Nertila Tavanxi

  1. Towards a transparent pricing system in South Africa: Trends in pharmaceutical logistics fees

    Varsha Bangalee, Fatima Suleman

  1. The development of a National Health Research Observatory in South Africa: Considerations and challenges

    Nobelungu J. Mekwa, Ashley Van Niekerk, Edith N. Madela-Mntla, Mohammed Jeenah, Glaudina Loots, Bongani M. Mayosi

  1. Health and Related Indicators
    Candy Day, Andy Gray